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The Conspirators, Or, 

Th e Ch evalier D 'Harm en tal 

Alexandre Dumas 



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THE CHEVALIER REMAINED AN INSTANT THUNDERSTRUCK. 



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THE WORKS 



OF 



ALEXANDRE DUMAS 



THE CONSPIRATORS 

OR 

THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL 




NEW YORK 

THE CENTURY CO. 

I 91 o 



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KB33l(o 



BBLLEG E 



Copyright, 1906 
By Thomas Y. Crowbll & Company 



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INTRODUCTION. 

1718-1719. 



The Chevalier d^Harmental — perhaps better known among 
English readers by its first English title of The Conspirators 
— is a happy example of fiction blended with history, or 
history blended with fiction, as one may prefer. Facts and 
personages are introduced with all the exactness of sober 
chronicle — yet with that genial abandon and brilliant collo- 
quy of which Dumas is past master. 

The historical period is set forth in the very first line, 
which gives year, month, and day. Thereupon ensues, by 
way of opening scene, a spirited duel among six courtiers and 
swordsmen — and all about a chance remark overheard in a 
restaurant, concerning a female personage who certainly did 
not need to have her character defended ! The reader rubs 
his eyes. " Is this history ? '' he inquires. " All in good 
time,'' replies Dumas, with a chuckle ; and the reader presently 
finds that he is launched into the very midst of a seething 
political conspiracy, and is on intimate speaking terms with 
the great ones of history, almost before he is aware. It is 
only another brilliant instance of the author's genius in 
romance-building. 

The real historical situation is fairly outlined in Chapters 
V. and VII. Louis XIV., dying at an advanced age, had left 
upon the throne of France, as fifteenth of his name, a great- 
grandson five years old. A regency was necessary, and Phil- 
ippe, Due d'Orleans, a nephew of the Grand Monarch, obtained 
control through parliament, and by unseating the weak Duo 
du Maine, a natural son of Louis, who had been favored for 
the position in the royal will. Thenceforth for several years 
a bitter rivalry ensued between the Maine and Orleans fac- 
tions, fostered largely by the activities of the talented 
Duchesse du Maine, the actual head of the movement. The 



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IV INTRODUCTION. 

opposition came to a head in the famous "Cellamare Con- 
spiracy " of 1718-1719, around which the present story is 
woven. The account of this famous plot, as given by Dumas, 
tallies so closely with the happening itself that the reader is 
referred to the pages of the present romance, rather than to 
the musty records of the Bibliotheque du Roi. If, however, 
he prefers to seek his facts in the latter repository, he will 
find all the chief characters — the duchess, the Regent, Dubois, 
Cellamare — playing almost exactly the parts assigned them ; 
and he will also find a La Fillon spying upon the conspirators, 
and an honest Jean Buvat copying and discovering the 
treasonable letters ! 

The hero of the tale, D'Harmental, is necessarily fictitious 
and, although he plays a courageous part, it must be admitted 
that he is not so convincing as many others of the author's 
swash-buckling heroes. His portrait and deeds inevitably 
challenge comparison with those of a certain doughty D'Ar- 
tagnan and his compatriots, severely to the disadvantage of our 
chevalier. He is willingly accepted, however, because of the 
shining company he keeps, and especially for the sake of his 
charming sweetheart, Bathilde. No more idyllic love-making 
is found in all of Dumas' numerous pages, unless we except 
that of Maximilian and Valentine in Monte Cristo. The story 
gleams like a thread of gold among the darker woof of pas- 
sion and rivalry. Bathilde herself is a delightful creature, 
half girl, half woman, with the foibles of the one and the 
unexpected strength of the other. One feels refreshed from 
the mere sight of her. 

Good old Jean Buvat is a faithful picture of the bourgeois 
of France who so long supported an infirm and tottering 
throne. With him the will of the powers that ruled was suf- 
ficient reason for all things. Toiling methodically day by day, 
year by year, even though his salary was far in arrears, he is 
typical of the down-trodden masses of France who were one 
day to arise and demand a reckoning. ' His love and care of 
Batliilde, disinterested in the last degree, reminds one of a 
faithful mastiff. It was not so noble as that of Jean Valjean 
for Cosette, but would have stopped short of no less sacrifice. 

The account of how Jean Buvat got into Dumas' story 
deserves inclusion here. Early in 1841, when the novelist 
had fairly begun upon his Chevalier^ he met his friend August 
Maquet, a minor author, who told him with disgust of the 



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INTRODUCTION. V 

rejection of an ambitious short story. " A rejected story ? " 
grunted Dumas; "bah, tell me all about it." Thereupon 
Maquet related how, in reading a history of the regency, he 
was struck by a new fact in connection with the Cellamare 
conspiracy — namely, that Dubois first learned of it through 
a copying clerk at the Bibliotheque, named Jean Buvat, 
instead of through a personal spy, La Fillon, as historians 
usually had it. Maquet had enlarged upon this new version 
in his story, which now seemed doomed to the wastebasket. 
" No ! " cried Dumas ; " I like your honhomme Buvat — give 
him to me. If I can use him, you shall hear from me. I am 
leaving to-night for Florence." 

He was as good as his word. The idea of the stumpy, 
simple-hearted copying clerk helplessly involved in a state 
conspiracy appealed irresistibly to him. Now he could hear 
the little man's protestations when confronted by the wily 
Dubois, or again stammering before the good-natured Regent. 
Maquet's short story may have supplied the main outlines of 
this happy character, but it was Dumas who gave him the 
breath of life and set him down in the distinguished company 
he was to cultivate in spite of himself. After the story had 
set all Paris to talking, Maquet received a handsome portion 
of the first royalties. Better still, he was afterwards taken 
up by Dumas as a collaborator upon other stories. Thus 
Buvat builded far better than he knew. It only remains to 
add that documents in his own beautiful chirography are still 
on file in the National Library — among them a Journal of 
the Regency and his personal Memoirs. 

At least one other character requires special notice — of 
course the swaggering Captain Roquefinette. He does not 
belong to history, mayhap, J^ut he is no less real to us than 
Buvat or the Regent himself. He would have been a boon 
companion of Porthos, had they ever met, and would have 
joined that warrior upon any adventure, no matter how des- 
perate, at the drop of a hat. There is this difference in the 
two soldiers of fortune, however : to Porthos the mere demand 
of his friends was always enough ; while with Roquefinette 
there arose the selfish consideration, " what am / going to get 
out of it?" This trait it was which led to his final undoing 
in the dramatic scene where the modern Goliath meets his 
David. Still, we could wish that the splendid fighting machine 
and likable roysterer might have been reserved for a better 



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Vi INTRODUCTION. 

fate. With all his failings^ he takes his place in the Dumas 
gallery of immortals. 

The Chevalier d^Harmental was published serially in the 
Siede, after being refused by the captious editor of the Revue, 
It sprang into immediate popularity in both France and Eng- 
land. Thackeray considered it one of the best of Dumas'* 
romances, an opinion which is held by many readers of the 
present day. Certainly it has the merit, shared by his better- 
known works, of presenting a fine and accurate picture of an 
important historical period. It was published in book form 
immediately after its appearance in the Steele, in 1843. 
Dumas — with Maquet's assistance — dramatized it some six 
years later, and its public performance as a play brought 
substantial satisfaction to the literary parents of Jean Buvat. 

J. Walkeb MgSpaddek. 

D'Hu. 



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CAST OF CHARACTERS. 



Albeboni, Gabdinal, Spanish minister. 
Bebby, Duchesse de, daughter of Begent. 
BouBGuiGNON, court valet. 
Bbigaud, Abb^, of the Maine faction. 
BuvAT, Jean, a public scribe. 
Canillac, Mabquis de, favorite of Begent. 
CellamabE; Pbikce de, Spanish ambassador. 
Chabtbes, Mlle. de, daughter of Begent. 
Chaulieu, Abb^, a blind theologian. 
GoMTOis, footman. 

D'Aboenson, Voteb, lieutenant of police. 
D'Abtagnan, captain of musketeers. 
lyAvBANCHES, of the Maine faction. 
Denis, Mme., keeper of lodging house. 
Denis, Boniface, her son, a clerk. 

D'Habmental, Gheyalieb Baoul, of the Maine faction. 

D'Obleans, Philippe, Due, Begent of France. 

Dubois, Abb^, then cardinal, prime minister. 

DucouDBAY, head clerk at library. 

DuBAND, innkeeper. 

Elizabeth Ghablotte of Austbia, mother of Begent. 

Fabgy, Gomtb de, of the court. 

Fleuby, De, of the court. 

FBijus, Abchbishop de, mentor of the King. 

Lafabe, Mabquis de, captain of the guards. 

La Fillon, tavern hostess and spy. 

Lagbange-Ghangel, a poet. 

La !N'obmande, servant to La Fillon. 

Launay, De, governor of Bastile. 

Launay, Mlle. de, attendant to Mme. du Maine. 

Layal, Gomtb de, of the Maine faction. 

Leblanc, police agent. 

D'Hir. vii 



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viii CAST OF CHARACTERS. 

Louis XV., King of France (in boyhood). 

Maine, Duo du, deposed rival of the Regent. 

Maine, Dughesse du, his wife; real leader of the Maine 

conspiracy. 
Malezieux, De, of the Maine faction. 
MoucHY, Mme. de, attendant to Mme. de Berry. 
Nantes, Bishop op, court prelate. 
Nanette, maid to Bathilde du Eocher. 
PoLiGNAC, Cardinal de, of the Maine faction. 
PoMPADOUB, Mabquis DE, of the Maine faction. 
Ravanne, Chetalieb de, of the court. 
Richelieu, Due de, of the Maine faction. 
RiOM, De, an officer beloved by Mme. de Berry. 
RocHEB, Bathilde du, an orphan under the guardianship of 

Buvat. 
RoQUEFiNETTE, Captain, soldicr of fortune. 
Sabban, Mme. de, favorite of Regent. 
Saint-Genest, a poet. 
Saint-Simon, Due de, of the court. 
SiMiANE, Chetalieb de, of the court. 
Valois, Mlle. de, daughter .of Regent. 
Valep, Babon de, of the Maine faction. 
ViLLEBOY, Mabquis de, Marshal of France; of the Maine 

faction. 



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CONTENTS. 



dLiPTlB YACI 

I. Captain Eoquefinbtte 1 

II. The Meeting 9 

III. The Chevalier 16 

IV. A Bal-Masque of the Period — the Bat, 23 
V. The Arsenal 33 

YI. The Prince de Cellamare 40 

VII. Alberoni 47 

VIII. A Pacha we have met before .... 51 

IX. The Garret 55 

X. A Citizen of the Rue du Temps-Perdu, 61 

XI. The Compact 67 

XII. Indecision 73 

XIII. The Denis Family 84 

XIV. The Crimson Eibbon 94 

XV. The Rue des Bons-Enfans 102 

XVI. Jean Buvat 113 

XVII. Bathilde 129 

XVIII. First Love 144 

XIX. The Consul Dthlius 154 

XX. The Abb^ Dubois 165 

XXI. The Conspiracy 172 

XXII. The Order of the Honey Bee .... 179 

XXIII. Poets of the Regency .' 187 

XXIV. The Queen of the Greenlandbrs . . . 195 
XXV. The Due de Richelieu 205 

XXVI. Jealousy 213 

XXVII. A Pretext 219 

XXVIII. Counterplots 226 

XXIX. The Seventh Heaven 234 

XXX. Fenelon's Successor 240 

XXXL The Prince de Listhnay's Accomplice . 250 

XXXII. The Fox and the Goose 256 

XXXIII. A Chapter from Saint-Simon .... 264 

XXXIV. Trapped! 271 

D*H«r. Jx 



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X CONTENTS. 

OHAPTBB PAtfS 

XXXV. The Beginning op the End 279 

XXXVI. Parliamentary Justice 286 

XXXVII. Man proposes 294 

XXXVIII. David and Goliath ........ 302 

XXXIX. The Saviour op France 310 

XL. God disposes , . . 326 

XLI. A Prime Minister's Memory .... 332 

XLII. BoNiPACE 339 

XLIII. The Three Visits 347 

XLIV. The Closet 353 

XLV. The Marriage in Extremis 360 

Postscript . . 364 

D'Har. 



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THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL 



CHAPTER L 

OAPTAIK BOQUEFINETTE, 

On the 22d of March, in the year of our Lord 1718, a young 
cavalier of distinguished bearing, from twenty-six to twenty- 
eight years of age, mounted on a pure-bred Spanish charger, 
was waiting, towards eight o'clock in the morning, at the 
end of the Pont Neuf nearest the Quai de I'Ecole. So upright 
and firm was he in his saddle that one might have believed 
him to be placed there as a sentifiel by the Lieutenant-General 
of Police, Messire Voyer d'Argenson. After waiting about half 
an hour, glancing uneasily at the clock of the Samaritaine, his 
eye, wandering till then, appeared to rest with satisfaction on 
an individual who, coming from the Place Dauphine, turned to 
the right and advanced towards him. 

The man who thus attracted the attention of the young 
chevalier was a powerfully-built fellow of five feet ten, who 
wore instead of a peruke a thicket of his own black hair, 
slightly grizzled. He was dressed in a manner half -bourgeois, 
half -military, ornamented with a shoulder-knot which had once 
been crimson, but had become a dirty orange from exposure 
to the sun and rain. A long sword slung in a belt bumped 
sharply against the calves of his legs. Finally, he wore a hat 
once furnished with plume and lace, which — in remembrance, 
no doubt, of its past splendor — its owner had stuck so much 
over his left ear that it seemed as if only a miracle of equilib- 
rium could keep it in its place. There was altogether in the 
countenance and bearing of the man — who seemed from forty 
to forty-five years of age, and who advanced swaggering and 
keeping the middle of the road, curling his mustache with 
one hand, and with the other waving the carriages to one 
side — such an air of insolent carelessness that the cavalier 



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2 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

smiled involuntarily, as he murmured to himself, << I believe 
this is the fellow for me/' 

He therefore walked straight up to the new-comer, with the 
evident intention of speaking to him. The stranger, though 
he evidently did not know the cavalier, noted that he was 
going to address him, and waited, one hand on his sword and 
the other on his mustache, to hear what the oncomer had to 
say. Indeed, as the man with the orange ribbon had foreseen, 
the young cavalier stopped his horse by him, and touching his 
hat, — "Monsieur," said he, "I take it from your appearance 
that you are a gentleman. Am I mistaken ? " 

" No, palsam-bleu / " replied he to whom this strange ques- 
tion was addressed, touching his hat in his turn. "I am 
delighted that my appearance speaks so well for me, for, how- 
ever little you would think that you were giving me my proper 
title, you may call me captain." 

" I am delighted to learn that you are a soldier ; it is an 
additional security to me that you are incapable of leaving a 
brave man in distress." 

" You come to the right man, provided there is no need of 
my purse, for I confess freely that I have just left my last 
crown in a cabaret on the Port de la Tonnelle." 

" Nobody wants your purse, captain ; on the contrary, I beg 
you to believe that mine is at your disposal." 

^< To whom have I the honor to speak ? " asked the captain, 
visibly touched by this reply, " and in what can I oblige you ? " 

" I am the Baron Een^ de Valef," replied the cavalier. 

"I think," interrupted the captain, "that in the Flemish 
wars I knew a family of that name." 

" It was mine, since we are from Li^ge." 

The two speakers exchanged bows. 

" You must know, then," continued the Baron de Valef, 
"that the Chevalier Raoul d'Harmental, one of my most 
intimate friends, last night, in my company, picked up a 
quarrel, which will finish this morning by a meeting. Our 
adversaries were three, and we but two. I went this morning 
to the houses of the Marquis de Gac^ and Comte de Sourgis, 
but unfortunately neither the one nor the other had passed 
the night in his bed. The affair could not wait, since I 
must set out in two hours for Spain; and as we absolutely 
require a second, or rather a third, I installed myself on the 
Pont Neuf with the intention of addressing the first gentle- 



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CAPTAIN ROQUEFINETTE. 3 

man who passed. You passed, and so I addressed myself to 
yon." 

" And you have done right, pardieu ! rest satisfied, baron, 
I am your man. What hour is fixed for the meeting ? " 

" Half -past nine this morning.*' 

" Where will it take place ? " 

« At the Port Maillot." 

*^ Diable! there is no time to lose; but you are on horse- 
back and I am on foot ; how shall we manage that ? " 

" There is a way, captain." 

« What is it ? " 

" It is that you do me tb*) honor of mounting behind me." 

"Willingly, baron." 

" I warn you, however," added the young cavalier, with a 
slight smile, ** that my horse is rather spirited." 

" Oh, 1 know him ! " said the captain, drawing back a step, 
and looking at the beautiful animal with the eye of a con- 
noisseur. " If I am not mistaken, he was bred between the 
mountains of Grenada and the Sierra Morena. I rode such 
a one at Almanza, and I have often made him lie down like 
a sheep when he wanted to carry me off at a gallop, only by 
pressing him with my knees." 

" You reassure me. To horse, then, captain." 

" Here I am, baron." 

And without using the stirrup, which the chevalier left free 
for him, with a single bound the captain sprang upon the 
croup. 

The baron had spoken truly; his horse was not accus- 
tomed to so heavy a load, therefore he attempted to get rid 
of it. Neither had the captain exaggerated, and the animal 
soon felt that he had found his master ; so that, after a few 
attempts, which had no other effect than to show to the 
passefs-by the address of the two horsemen, he became 
obedient, and went at a swinging trot down the Quai de 
I'Ecole, which at that time was nothing but a wharf, crossed 
at the same pace the Quai du Louvre and the Quai des 
Tuileries, through the gate of the Conference, and leaving on 
the left the road to Versailles, threaded the great avenue of 
the Champs Elysees, which now leads to the triumphal Arc 
de PEtoile. Arrived at the Pont d'Antin, the Baron de Valef 
slackened his horse's pace a little, for he found that he had 
ample time to arrive at the Port Maillot at the hour fixed. 



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4 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

The captain profited by this respite. 

'*May I, without indiscretion, ask why we are going to 
fight? You understand I wish to know this in order to 
regulate my conduct towards my adversary, and to know 
whether it is worth while killing him." 

"That is only fair," answered the baron; "I will tell you 
everything as it passed. We were supping last night at La 
Fillon's. Of course you know La Fillon, captain ? " 

^^Pardieu ! it was I who started her in the world, in 1705, 
before my Italian campaign." 

" Well," replied the baron, laughing, " you may boast of a 
pupil who does you honor. Briefly, I supped there tSte-a- 
tgte with D'Harmental." 

" Without any one of the fair sex ? " 

"Oh, mon DieUj yes! I must tell you that D'Harmental 
is a kind of Trappist, only going to La Fillon's for fear of 
the reputation of not going there ; only loving one woman 
a| a time, and in love for the moment with the little D'Averne, 
the wife of the lieutenant of the guards." 

" Very good ! " 

" We were there, chatting, when we heard a merry party 
enter the room next to ours. As our conversation did not 
concern anybody else we kept silence and, without intend- 
ing it, overheard the conversation of our neighbors. See the 
result. Our neighbors talked of the only thing which we 
ought not to have heard." 

" Of the chevalier's mistress, perhaps ? " 

"Exactly. At the first words of their discourse which 
reached me, I rose, and tried to get Raoul away, but instead 
of following me, he put his hand on my shoulder, and made 
me sit down again. *Then Philippe is making love to the 
little D'Averne ? ' said one. * Since the f §te of the Mar^chal 
d'Estr^e, where she gave him a sword-belt with some verses, 
in which she compared him to Mars,' replied another voice. 
'That is eight days ago,' said a third. 'Yes,' replied the 
first. 'Oh! she made a kind of resistance, either that she 
really held by poor D'Harmental, or that she knew that the 
Regent only likes those who resist him. At last this morning, 
in exchange for a basketful of flowers and jewels, she has 
consented to receive his Highness.' " 

"Ah!" said the captain, "I begin to understand; the 
chevalier got angry." 



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CAPTAIN ROQUEFINETTE. 5 

"Exactly. Instead of laughing, as you or I would have 
done, and profiting by this circumstance to get back his 
brevet of colonel, which was taken from him under pretext of 
economy, D'Harmental became so pale that I thought he 
was going to faint; then, approaching the partition and 
striking with his fist to ensure silence, ' Gentlemen,' said he, 
^I am sorry to contradict you, but the one who said that 
Mademoiselle d'Averne had granted a rendezvous to the 
Regent, or to any other, has told a lie.' '' 

" ' It was I who said it, and who repeat it ; and if it dis- 
pleases you, my name is Laf are, captain of the guards/ ' And 
mine Fargy,' said a second voice. ' And mine Ravanne,' said 
the third. *Very well, gentlemen,' replied D'Harmental, 
* to-morrow, from nine to half-past, at the Port Maillot.' 
And he sat down again opposite me. They talked of some- 
thing else, and we finished our supper. That is the whole 
affair, captain, and you now know as much as I." 

The captain gave vent to a kind of exclamation which 
seemed to say, "This is not very serious;" but in spite of 
this semi-disapprobation, he resolved none the less to support, 
to the best of his power, the cause of which he had so unex- 
pectedly been made the champion, however defective that 
cause might appear to him in principle ; besides, even had he 
wished it, he had gone too far to draw back. They had now 
arrived at the Port Maillot, and a young cavalier, who ap- 
peared to be waiting, and who had from a distance perceived 
the baron and the captain, put his horse to the gallop, and 
approached rapidly. This was the Chevalier d'Harmental. 

"My dear chevalier," said the Baron de Valef, grasping 
his hand, " permit me, in default of an old friend, to present 
to ■ you a new one. Neither Sourgis nor Gac^ were at home. 
I met this gentleman on the Pont Neuf, and told him our 
embarrassment, and he offered himself to free us from it, with 
the greatest good will." 

« I am doubly grateful to you, then, my dear Valef," replied 
the chevalier, casting on the captain a look which betrayed a 
slight astonishment. " And to you, monsieur," continued he. 
" I must excuse myself for making your acquaintance by mix- 
ing you up thus with an unpleasant affair. But you will 
afford me one day or another an opportunity to return your 
kindness, and I hope and beg that, an opportunity arising, you 
would dispose of me as I have of you." 



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6 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

" Well said, chevalier/' replied the captain, leaping to the 
ground ; " and in speaking thus you might lead me to the end 
of the world. The proverb is right — 'It is only mountains 
that don't meet.' " 

" Who is this original ? " asked D'Harmental of Valef , while 
the captain stamped about with his right foot to stretch his 
legs. 

" Faith, I do not know," said Valef, " but I do know that 
we should be in a great difficulty without him. Some poor 
officer of fortune, without doubt, whom the peace has thrown 
abroad like so many others ; but we will judge him by and by, 
by his works." 

" Well ! " said the captain, becoming animated with the 
exercise he was taking, " where are our opponents ? " 

" When I came up to you," replied D'Harmental, " they had 
not arrived, but I perceived at the end of the avenue a kind 
of hired carriage, which will serve as an excuse if they are 
late ; and indeed," added the chevalier, pulling out a beautiful 
watch set with diamonds, " they are not behind time, for it is 
hardly half -past nine." 

"Let us go," said Valef, dismounting and throwing the 
reins to D'Harmental's valet, " for if they arrive at the ren- 
dezvous while we stand gossiping here, it will appear as 
though we had kept them waiting." 

" You are right," said D'Harmental ; and, dismounting, he 
advanced towards the entrance of the wood, followed by his 
two companions. 

" Will you not take anything, gentlemen ? " said the landlord 
of the restaurant, who was standing -at his door, waiting for 
custom. 

" Yes, Maitre Durand," replied D'Harmental, who wished, 
in order that they might not' be disturbed, to make it appear 
as if they had come from an ordinary walk, "breakfast for 
three. We are going to take a turn in the avenue, and then 
we shall come back." And he let three louis fall into the 
hands of the innkeeper. 

The captain saw the shine of the three gold pieces one after 
another, and quickly reckoned up what might be had at the 
" Bois de Boulogne " for seventy-two francs ; but as he knew 
whom he had to deal with, he judged that a little advice from 
him would not be useless ; consequently approached the inn- 
keeper in his turn. 



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CAPTAIN ROQUEFINETTE. 7 

" Listen, my friend," said he ; " yon know that I understand 
the price of things, and that no one can deceive me about the 
amount of a tavern bill. Let the wines be good and varied, 
and let the breakfast be copious, or I will break your head ! 
Do you understand ? " 

<< Be easy, captain," answered Durand, << it is not a customer 
like you whom I would deceive." 

"All right; I have eaten nothing for twelve hours. 
Arrange accordingly." 

The hotel-keeper bowed assent, and went back to his kitchen, 
beginning to think that he had made a worse bargain than he 
had hoped. 

As to the captain, after having made a last sign of recog- 
nition, half amicable, half threatening, he quickened his pace, 
and rejoined the chevalier and the baron, who had stopped to 
wait for him. 

The chevalier was not wrong as to the situation of the hired 
carriage. At the turn of the first alley he saw his three 
adversaries getting out of it. They were, as we have already 
said, the Marquis de Lafare, the Comte de Fargy, and the 
Chevalier de Ravanne. 

Our readers will now permit us to give them some short 
details of these three personages, who will often reappear in 
the course of this history. Lafare, the best known of the 
three, thanks to the poetry which he has left behind him, was 
a man of about thirty-six or thirty-eight years, of a frank and 
open countenance, and of an inexhaustible gaiety and good 
humor. Always ready to engage with all comers, at table, at 
play, or at arms, and that without malice or bitterness ; much 
run after by the fair sex, and much beloved by the Regent, 
who had named him his captain of the guards, and who, 
during the ten years in which he had admitted him into his 
intimacy, had found him his rival sometimes, but his faithful 
servant always. Thus the prince, who had the habit of giving 
nick-names to all his boon companions, as well as to his mis- 
tresses, never called him any other than " bon anfantJ^ Never- 
theless, for some time the popularity of Xafare, established as 
it was by agreeable antecedents, was fast lowering among the 
ladies of the court and the girls of the opera. There was a 
report current that he was going to be so ridiculous as to 
become a well-behaved man. It is true that some people, in 
order to preserve his reputation for him, whispered that this 



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8 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

apparent conversion had no other cause than the jealousy of 
Mademoiselle de Conti, daughter of the duchess, and grand- 
daughter of the great Cond^, who it was said honored the 
Eegent's captain of the guards with a particular affection. 
His alliance with the Due de Eichelieu, who on his side was 
supposed to be the lover of Mademoiselle de Charolais, gave 
consistency to this report. 

The Comte de Fargy, generally called " Le Beau Fargy," 
thus substituting the title which he had received from nature 
for that which his fathers had left him, was cited, as his name 
indicates, as the handsomest man of his time, which in that 
age of gsillantry imposed obligations from which he had never 
recoiled, and from which he had always come with honor. 
Indeed, it was impossible to be a more perfect figure than he 
was. At once strong and graceful, supple and active, he 
seemed to unite all the different perfections of a hero of 
romance of that time. Add to this a charming head, uniting 
the most opposite styles of beauty ; that is to say, black hair 
and blue eyes, strongly-marked features, and a complexion 
like a woman. Unite with all these wit, loyalty, the greatest 
courage, and you have an idea of the high consideration 
which Le Fargy must have enjoyed from the society of that 
mad period. 

As to the Chevalier de Ravanne, who has left us such 
strange memoirs of his early life that, in spite of their 
authenticity, one is tempted to believe them apocryphal, he 
was still but a youth, rich and of noble birth, who entered 
into life by a golden door, and ran into all its pleasures with 
the fiery imprudence and eagerness of his age. He carried to 
excess, as so many do at eighteen, all the vices and all the 
virtues of his day. It will be easily understood how proud he 
was to serve as second to men like Lafare and Fargy in a 
meeting which was likely to be the talk of many a little 
supper and ball. 



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THE MEETING. 9 

CHAPTER 11. 

THE MEETING. 

As soon as Lafare, Fargy, and Bavanne saw their adver- 
saries coming down the woodland path, they walked to meet 
them. Arrived at ten paces from each other, all took off their 
hats and bowed with that elegant politeness which was a 
characteristic of the aristocracy of the eighteenth century. 
They then advanced some steps bareheaded smiling so pleas- 
antly that to the eye of a passer-by, ignorant of the cause of 
their reunion, they would have appeared like bosom friends. 

"Gentlemen," said the Chevalier d'Harmental, to whom 
the first word by right belonged, "I hope that neither you 
nor we have been followed ; but it is getting late, and we 
might be disturbed here. I think it woiild be wise in us to 
find a more retired spot, where we shall be more at ease to 
transact the little business which we have in hand.'' 

" I know one which will suit you," said Eavanne, " a hun- 
dred yards from here — a true cover." 

" Come, let us follow the child," said the captain ; " inno- 
cence leads to safety." 

Eavanne turned round and examined our friend with the 
yellow ribbons from head to foot. 

' « If you are not previously engaged, my strapping friend," 
said he, in a bantering tone, " I claim the preference." 

" Wait a moment, Ravanne," interrupted Lafare ; " I have 
some explanations to give to Monsieur d'Harmental." 

" Monsieur Lafare," replied the chevalier, " your courage 
is so well known that the explanations you offer me are a 
proof of delicacy for which I thank you ; but these explana- 
tions would only delay us uselessly, and we have no time to 
lose." 

" Bravo ! " cried Bavanne, " that is what I call speaking, 
chevalier. As soon as we have cut each other's throats, I 
hope you will grant me your friendship. I have heard you 
much spoken of in good quarters, and have long wished to 
make your acquaintance." 

"Come, come, Bavanne," said Fargy, "since you have 
undertaken to be our guide, show us the way." 

Bavanne sprang into the wood like a young fawn ; his five 



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10 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

companions followed. At the end of aboat ten minutes^ 
walking, during which the six adversaries had maintained the 
most profound silence, either from fear of being heard, or 
from that natural feeling which makes a man in the moment 
of danger reflective for a time, they found themselves in the 
midst of a glade, surrounded on all sides by a screen of trees. 

"Well," said Kavanne, looking round him in a satisfied 
manner, ** what do you say to the locality ?" 

" I say that if you boast of having discovered it,'' said the 
captain, "you are a strange kind of Christopher Columbus. 
If you had told me you were coming here, I could have guided 
you with my eyes shut." 

" Well," replied Kavanne, " we will try to allow you to 
leave in the same manner." 

"My business lies with you. Monsieur de Lafare," said 
D'Harmental, throwing his hat on the ground. 

" Yes, monsieur," replied the captain of the guards, fol- 
lowing the example of the chevalier ; " and at the same time 
I assure you that nothing could give me more honor and more 
pain than a rencontre with you, particularly for such a cause." 

D'Harmental smiled as a man on whom this flower of 
politeness was not lost, but his only answer was to draw his 
sword. 

" It appears, my dear baron," said Fargy, addressing him- 
self to Valef, " that you are on the point of setting out for 
Spain." 

" I ought to have left last night ; and nothing less than the 
pleasure I promised myself in seeing you this morning would 
have detained me till now, so important is my errand." 

^'Diablef you distress me," said Fargy, drawing, "for if 
I should have the misfortune to retard you, you are the man 
to bear me deadly malice." 

" Not at all. I should know that it was from pure friend- 
ship, my dear count," replied Valef ; " so do your best, I 
beg, for I am at your orders." 

" Come, then, monsieur," said Kavanne to the captain, 
who was folding his coat neatly, and placing it by his hat. 
'* You see that I am waiting for you." 

" Do not be impatient, my fine fellow," said the old soldier, 
continuing his preparations with the phlegm natural to him. 
"One of the most essential qualities in arms is sang-froid, 
I was like you at your age; but after the third or fourth 



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THE MEETING. 11 

sword-blow I received, I understood that I was on the wrong 
road, and I returned to the right path. There/' added he, 
at last drawing his sword, which I have said was of extreme 
length. 

" Feste ! " said Eavanne, throwing a glance on his adver- 
sary's weapon. " What a charming implement you have there ! 
It reminds me of the great spit in my mother's kitchen ; and 
I am grieved that I did not order the maltre-d'hdtel to bring 
it me, as a match to yours." 

" Your mother is a worthy woman, and her * cuisine' is a 
good one ; I have heard both spoken of with great praise, 
Monsieur le Chevalier," replied the captain, with an almost 
paternal manner. « I should be grieved to take you from one 
or the other for a trifle like that which procures me the 
honor of crossing swords with you. Suppose, then, that 
you are only taking a lesson from your fencing-master, and 
keep the distance." 

The recommendation was useless. Eavanne was exaspe- 
rated by his adversary's calmness, to which, in spite of his 
courage, his young and ardent blood did not allow him to 
attain. He attacked the captain with such fury that their 
swords engaged at the hilt. The captain made a step back. 

" Ah ! you give ground, my tall friend." 

" To give ground is not to fly, my little chevalier," replied 
the captain ; " it is an axiom of the art which I advise you 
to consider; besides, I am not sorry to study your play. 
Ah ! you are a pupil of Berthelot, apparently ; he is a good 
master, but he has one great fault: it is not teaching to 
parry. Stay, look at this," continued he, replying by a thrust 
in "seconde" to a straight thrust; "if I had lunged, I 
should have spitted you like a lark." 

Eavanne was furious, for he had felt on his breast the 
point of his adversary's sword, but so lightly that he might 
have taken it for the button of a foil. His anger redoubled 
at the conviction that he owed his life to the captain, and 
his attacks became more numerous and more furious than ever. 

" Stop, stop," said the captain ; " now you are going crazy, 
and trying to blind me ; fie ! fie ! young man ; at the chest, 
morhleu I Ah ! at the face again ? You will force me to dis- 
arm you. Again ! Go and pick up your sword, young man ; 
and come back hopping on one leg to calm yourself." 

And with a sudden twist he whipped Eavanne's sword 



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12 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

out of his liand and sent it flying some twenty paces from 
him. 

This time Ravanne profited by the advice. He went slowly 
to pick up his sword, and came back quietly to the captain. 
But the young man was as pale as his satin vest, on which 
was apparent a small drop of blood. 

" You are right, captain," said he, " and I am still but a 
child ; but this meeting will, I hope, help to make a man of 
me. Some passes more, if you please, that it may not be said 
you have had all the honors.'' 

And he put himself on guard. The captain was right ; the 
chevalier only required to be calm to make him a formidable 
adversary : thus, at the first thrust of this third engagement 
he saw that he must attend solely to his own defence ; but his 
superiority in the art of fencing was too decided for his young 
adversary to obtain any advantage over him. The matter ended 
as it was easy to foresee. The captain disarmed Eavanne a 
second time ; but this time he went and picked up the sword 
himself, and with a politeness of which at first one might 
have supposed him incapable. 

<^ Monsieur le Chevalier," said he, extending his hand to 
Ravanne, " you are a brave young man ; but believe in an old 
frequenter of schools and taverns, who was at the Flemish 
wars before you were born, at the Italian when you were in 
your cradle, and at the Spanish whilst you were a page ; 
change your master. Leave Berthelot, who has already taught 
you all he knows, and take Bois-Eobert ; and may the devil 
fly away with me, if in six months you are not as good a 
fencer as myself." 

" Thanks for your lesson," said Ravanne, taking the hand 
of the captain, while two tears, which he could not restrain, 
flowed down his cheeks ; " I hope it will profit me." 

And, receiving his sword, he did what the captain had 
already done — sheathed it. They then both cast their eyes 
on their companions to see how things were going. The 
combat was over. Lafare was seated on the ground, with 
his back leaning against a tree: he had been run through 
the body, but happily the point of the sword had struck 
against a rib, and glanced along the bone, so that the wound 
seemed at first worse than it really was ; still he had fainted, 
the shock had been so violent. D'Harmental was on his 
knees before him, endeavoring to staunch the blood with his 



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THE MEETING. 18 

handkerchief. Fargy and Valef had wounded each other at 
the same moment. One was struck in the thigh, the other 
run through the arm; both had apologized, promising to be 
friends for the future. 

"Look, young man," said the captain, showing Eavanne 
these different episodes of the field of battle. << Look on that, 
and meditate. There is the blood of three brave gentlemen 
flowing, — probably for a folly." 

" Faith, captain," answered Ravanne, quite calmed down. 
*^ I believe you are right, and that yoii are the only one of 
us all that has got common sense." 

At that moment Lafare opened his eyes and recognized 
D'Harmental in the man who was tending him. 

" Chevalier," said he, " take a friend's advice ; send me a 
kind of surgeon whom you will find in the carriage, and 
whom I brought with me in case of accident. Then gain 
Paris as fast as possible. Show yourself to-night at the opera 
ball, and if they ask you about me, say that it is a week since 
you have seen me. As to me you may be quite easy. Your 
name shall not pass my lips j and if you get into any unpleas- 
ant discussion with the police, let me know at once, and we 
will manage so that the affair shall have no consequences." 

"Thanks, Monsieur le Marquis," answered D'Harmental. 
" I quit you, because I leave you in better hands than mine ; 
otherwise, believe me, nothing should have separated me from 
you until I had seen you in your bed." 

" Pleasant journey, my dear Valef," said Fargy, " for I do 
not think that scratch will hinder your going. On your 
return, do not forget that you have a friend at No. 14 Place 
Louis-le-Grand." 

" And you, my dear Fargy, if you have any commission for 
Madrid, you have but to say so, and you may rely upon 
its being executed with the exactitude and zeal of a true 
comrade." 

And the two friends shook hands as if nothing had passed. 

" Adieu, young man, adieu," said the captain to Ravanne ; 
" do not forget the advice which I have given you. Give up 
Berthelot , and take to Bois-Robert. Be calm, — give ground 
when it is necessary, — parry in time, and you will be one of 
the best fencers in the kingdom of France. My implement 
sends its compliments to your mother's great spit." 

Ravanne, in spite of his presence of mind, could not find 



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14 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

anything to reply to the captain ; so he contented himself with 
bowing and going up to Lafare, who appeared to be the most 
seriously wounded. 

As to D'Hannental, Valef, and the captain, they rapidly 
gained the path, where they found the coach and, inside, the 
surgeon, who was enjoying a nap. D'Harmental woke him ; 
and showing him the way he must go told him that the 
Marquis de Lafare and the Comte de Fargy had need of his 
services. He also ordered his valet to dismount and follow 
the surgeon in order to aid him ; then, turning towards the 
captain : 

" Captain," said he, " I do not think that it would be pru- 
dent to go and eat the breakfast which we have ordered; 
therefore receive my thanks for the assistance you have ren- 
dered me, and in remembrance of me, as it seems you are on 
foot, will you accept one of my two horses ? You can take one 
by chance ; they are both good, and neither will fail you if 
you have need to go eight or ten leagues in the hour." 

" Faith, chevalier," answered the captain, casting a look on 
the horse which had been so generously offered to him, " there 
was no need for that. Their blood and their purses are things 
which gentlemen lend each other every day; but you make 
the offer with so good a grace that I know not how to refuse 
you. If you ever have need of me, for anything whatever, 
remember that I am at your service." 

" If that case should occur, where should I find you ? '? said 
D'Harmental, smiling. 

" I have no fixed residence, chevalier, but you may always 
hear of me by going to La Fillon's and asking for La Nor- 
mande, and inquiring of her for Captain Roquefinette." 

And as the two young men mounted their horses, the cap- 
tain did the same, not without remarking to himself that 
D'Harmental had left him the best of the three. Then, as 
they were near a four-cross road, each one took his own way 
at a gallop. 

The Baron de Valef re-entered by the Barriire de Passy, and 
returned straight to the arsenal to receive the commissions ot 
the Duchesse du Maine, to whose establishment he belonged, 
and left the same day for Spain. 

Captain Roquefinette made two or three tours round the 
Bois de Boulogne, walking, trotting, and galloping, in order 
to appreciate the different qualities of his horse ; and having 



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THE MEETING. 15 

satisfied himself that it was, as the chevalier had told him, a 
fine and pure-blooded animal, he returned to Durand's hotel, 
where he ate, all alone, the breakfast which had been ordered 
for three. The same day he took his horse to a dealer and 
sold it for sixty louis. It was about half what it was worth, 
but one must be prepared to make sacrifices, if one wishes to 
realize promptly. 

As to the Chevalier d'Harmental, he took the road to La 
Muette, entered Paris by the great avenue of the Champs 
Elysees, and on returning to his home in the Rue de Riche- 
lieu, found two letters waiting for him. One of these letters 
was in a handwriting so well known to him that he trembled 
from head to foot as he looked at it, and after having taken 
it up with as much hesitation as if it had been a burning coal, 
he opened it with a hand whose shaking betrayed the impor- 
tance he attached to it. It read as follows : 

*' My deab Chevalier : 

"No one is master of his own heart — you know that; 
and it is one of the misfortunes of our nature not to be able 
to love the same person, or the same thing, long at a time. 
As to myself, I wish at least to have, beyond other women, 
the merit of never deceiving the man who has been my lover. 
Do not come, then, at your accustomed hour, for you will be 
told that I am not at home ; and I am so scrupulous that I 
would, not willingly endanger the soul even of a valet or a 
waiting-maid by making them tell so great a lie. 

"Adieu, my dear chevalier. Do not retain too unkind a 
remembrance of me, and behave so that ten years hence I 
may still think what I think now — that is to say, that you are 
one of the noblest gentlemen in France. 

" Sophie d'Avebne.'' 

" Zounds ! " cried D'Harmental, striking his fist on a beau- 
tiful buhl table, which he smashed to bits, ^' if I have killed 
that poor Lafare I shall never forgive myself." 

After this outburst, which comforted him ^ little, the poor 
fellow began to walk backwards and forwards between the 
door and the window in a manner that showed that he still 
wanted more deceptions of the same sort in order to arrive at 
the perfection of moral philosophy which the faithless beauty 
preached to him. Then, after two or three turns, he saw the 



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16 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

other letter, which he had entirely forgotten, lying on the 
floor. He passed it once or twice, looking at it with a supreme 
indifference. At last, seeming to think that it would make 
some diversion on the first, he picked it up disdainfully, 
opened it slowly, looked at the writing, which was unknown 
to him, searched for the signature, but there was none ; and 
then, led on by the mysterious air of it, he read as follows : 

" Chbvalieb ; 

" If you have in your mind a quarter of the romance, or 
in your heart half the courage, that your friends give you 
credit for, some one is ready to offer you an enterprise worthy 
of you, and the result of which will be at the same time to 
avenge you on the man you hate most in the world, and to 
conduct you to a goal more brilliant than you can have hoped 
for in your wildest dreams. The good genius who will lead 
you thither by an enchanted road, and in whom you must trust 
entirely, will expect you this evening at ten o'clock at the 
opera ball. If you come there unmasked, he will come to 
you ; if you come masked, you will know him by the violet 
ribbon which he will wear on his left shoulder. The watch- 
word is * open sesame ; ' speak boldly and a cavern will open 
to you as wonderful as that of Ali Baba." 

" Bravo ! '^ said D'Harmental ; " if the genius in the violet 
ribbons keeps only half his promise, by my honor he has 
found his man I " 



CHAPTER III. 

THE GHEVALIEB. 

The Chevalier Raoul d'Harmental, with whom, before going 
further, we should make a better acquaintance, was the last of 
one of the best families of Nivernais. Although that family 
had never played an important part in history, yet it did not 
want a certain notoriety, which it had acquired partly alone 
and partly by its alliances. Thus the father of the chevalier, 
the Sire Gaston d'Harmental, had come to Paris in 1682, and 
had proved his genealogical tree from the year 1399, an 
heraldic operation which would have given some trouble to 



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THE CHEVALIER. 17 

more than one duke and peer. In another direction^ his 
maternal uncle, Monsieur de Torigny, before being named 
chevalier of the order in the promotion of 1694, had con- 
fessed, in order to get his sixteen quarterings recognized, that 
the best part of his scutcheon was that of the D'Harmentals, 
with whom his ancestors had been allied for three hundred 
years. Here, then, was enough to satisfy the aristocratic 
demands of the age of which we write. 

The chevalier was neither poor nor rich — that is to say, 
his father, when he died, had left him an estate in the en- 
virons of Nevers, which brought him in from 20,000 to 
25,000 livres a year. This was enough to live well in the 
country, but the chevalier had received an excellent educa- 
tion, and was very ambitious ; therefore he had at his majority, 
in 1711, quitted his home for Paris. His first visit was to 
the Comte de Torigny, on whom he counted to introduce 
him at court. Unfortunately, at that, time the Gomte de 
Torigny was absent from home ; but as he remembered with 
pleasure the family of D'Harmental, he recommended his 
nephew to the Chevalier de Villarceaux, who could refuse 
nothing to his friend, the Comte de Torigny, and took the 
young man to Madame de Maintenon. 

Madame de Maintenon had one good quality — she always 
continued to be the friend of her old lovers. She received 
the Chevalier d'Harmental graciously, thanks to the old rec- 
ollections which recommended him to her, and some days 
afterwards, the Mardchal de Villars coming to pay his court 
to her, she spoke a few such pressing words in favor of her 
young protdg^ that the mardchal, delighted to find an oppor- 
tunity of obliging this queen " in partibus,^^ replied that from 
that hour he attached the chevalier to his military establish- 
ment, and would take care to offer him every occasion to 
justify his august protectress's good opinion of him. 

It was a great joy to the chevalier to see such a door opened 
to him. The coming campaign was definitive. Louis XIV. 
had arrived at the last period of his reign — the period of 
reverses. Tallard and Marsin had been beaten at Hochstett, 
Villeroy at Ramilies, and Villars himself, the hero of Fried- 
lingen, had lost the famous battle of Malplaquet against Marl- 
borough and Eugene. Europe, kept down for a time by 
Colbert and Louvois, rose against France, and the situation of 
affairs was desperate. 



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18 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

The King, like a despairing invalid who changes his doctor 
eveiy hour, changed ministers every day. Each new attempt 
but revealed a new weakness. France could not sustain war, 
and could not obtain peace. Vainly she offered to abandon 
Spain, and limit her frontier, but this was not sufficient 
humiliation. They exacted that the King should allow the hos- 
tile armies to cross France, in order to chase his grandson from 
the throne of Spain; and also that he should give up, as 
pledges, Cambray, Mettray, La Rochelle, and Bayonne, unless 
he preferred dethroning him himself, by open force, during 
the following year. 

These were the conditions on which a truce was granted to 
the conqueror of the plains of Senef, Fleurus, of Steerekirk, 
and of La Marsalle; to him who had hitherto held in the 
folds of his royal mantle peace and war ; to him who called 
himself the distributer of crowns, the chastiser of nations, the 
great, the immortal ; to him in whose honor, during the last 
half century, marbles had been sculptured, bronzes cast, 
sonnets written, and incense poured. 

Louis XIV. had wept in the full council. These tears had 
produced an army, which was entrusted to Villars. 

Villars marched straight to the enemy, whose camp was at 
Denain, and who slept in security while watching the agony 
of France. Never had greater responsibility rested on on© 
head. On one blow of Villars hung the salvation of France. 
The allies had established a line of fortifications between 
Denain and Marchiennes, which, in their pride of anticipation, 
Albemarle and Eugene called the grand route to Paris. 

Villars resolved to take Denain by surprise, and, Albemarle 
conquered, to conquer Eugene. In order to succeed in this 
audacious enterprise, it was necessary to deceive, not only the 
enemy's army, but also his own, the success of this coup de 
main being in its impossibility. Villars proclaimed aloud his 
intention of forcing the lines of Landrecies. 

One night, at an appointed hour, the whole army moves off 
in the direction of that town. All at once the order is given 
to bear to the left. His genius throws three bridges over the 
Scheldt. Villars passes over the river without obstacle, 
throws himself into the marshes considered impracticable, and 
where the soldier advances with the water up to his waist ; 
marches straight to the first redoubts ; takes them almost 
without striking a blow ; seizes successively a league of forti- 



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THE CHEVALIER. 19 

fications ; reaches Denain ; crosses the fosse which surrounds 
it, penetrates into the town, and on arriving at the place, finds 
his young prot^g^, the Chevalier d'Harmental, who presents 
to him the sword of Albemarle, whom he has just taken 
prisoner. At this moment the arrival of Eugene is announced. 
Villars returns, reaches, before him, the bridge over which 
he must pass, takes possession of it, and awaits him. There 
the true combat takes place, for the taking of Denain had been 
but a short skirmish. Eugene makes attack after attack, 
returns seven times to the head of the bridge, his best troops 
being destroyed by the artillery which protects it, and the 
bayonets which defend it. At length, his clothes riddled with 
balls, and bleeding from two wounds, he mounts his third 
horse, the conqueror of Hochstett and Malplaquet retreats 
crying with rage, and biting his gloves with fury. In six 
hours the aspect of things has changed. France is saved, and 
Louis XIV. is still Le Grand Roi. 

D'Harmental had conducted himself like a man who wished 
to gain his spurs at once. Villars, seeing him covered with 
blood and dust, recalled to his mind by whom he had been 
recommended to him; made him draw near, while, in the 
midst of the field of battle, he wrote on a drum the result of 
the day. 

" Are you wounded ? " asked he. 

" Yes, Monsieur le Mar^chal, but so slightly that it is not 
worth speaking of." 

" Have you the strength to ride sixty leagues, without rest- 
ing an hour, a minute, a second ? " 

" I have the strength for anything that will serve the King 
or you." 

" Then set out instantly ; go to Madame de Maintenon ; tell 
her from me what you have seen, and announce to her the 
courier who will bring the official account." 

D'Harmental understood the importance of the mission 
with which he was charged and, bleeding and dusty as he 
was, he' mounted a fresh horse and gained the first stage. 
Twelve hours afterwards he was at Versailles. 

Villars had foreseen what would happen. At the first 
words which fell from the mouth of the chevalier, Madame 
de Maintenon took him by the hand and conducted him to 
the King. The King was at work with Voisin, but, contrary 
to his habit, in his room, for he was a little indisposed. 



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20 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

Madame de Maintenon opened the door, pushed lyHar- 
mental to the feet of the King, and raising her hands to 
heaven : 

"Sire," said she, "give thanks to God, for your Majesty 
knows we are nothing by ourselves, and it is from him comes 
every blessing.*' 

" What has happened, monsieur ? Speak," said the King 
quickly, astonished to see this young man, whom he did not 
know, at his feet. 

** Sire," replied the chevalier, " the camp at Denain is 
taken. Albemarle is a prisoner. Prince Eugene has taken 
flight ; and the Mardchal de Yillars places his victory at your 
Majesty's feet." 

Louis XIV. turned pale, in spite of his command over 
himself. He felt his limbs fail him, and leant against the 
table for support. 

"What ails you, sire?" said Madame de Maintenon, 
hastening to him. 

" It is, madame, that I owe you everything," said Louis 
XIV. ; " you save the King, and your friends save the 
kingdom." 

Madame de Maintenon bowed and kissed the King's hand 
respectfully. 

Then Louis XIV., still pale and much moved, passed 
behind the great curtain which hid the alcove containing his 
bed, and they heard a prayer of thanksgiving. He then 
reappeared, grave and calm, as if nothing had happened. 

"And now, monsieur," said he, " tell me the details." 

D'Harmental gave an account of that marvellous battle, 
which came as by a miracle to save the monarchy; then, 
when he had finished : 

"And have you nothing to tell of yourself ? " asked Louis 
XIV. " If I may judge by the blood and dust with which 
you aret yet covered, you did not remain idle." 

" Sire, I did my best," said D'Harmental, bowing ; " but if 
there is really anything to tell, I will, with your permission, 
leave it to the Mar^chal de Villars." 

" It is well, young man ; and if he forgets you by chance, 
we shall remember. You must be fatigued. Gk) and rest. I 
am pleased with you." 

D'Harmental retired joyously, Madame de Maintenon 
conducting him to the door \ he kissed her hand again, and 



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THE CHEVALIER. 21 

hastened to profit by the royal permission. For twenty hours 
he had neither eaten, drunk, nor slept. On his awaking, they 
gave him a packet which had been brought from the minister 
of war. It was his brevet as colonel. Two months after- 
wards peace was made. Spain gave up half its monarchy, 
but France remained intact. Louis XIV. died. Two distinct 
and irreconcilable parties were in existence. That of the 
bastards, centring in the Due du Maine, and that of the legiti- 
mate princes, represented by the Due d'Orleans. If the Due 
du Maine had had the will, the perseverance, the courage, of 
his wife, Louise Benedicte de Cond^, perhaps, supported as 
he was by the royal will, he might have triumphed ; but he 
had to defend himself in broad day, as he was attacked ; and 
the Due du Maine, weak in mind and heart, dangerous only 
because he was a coward, was only good at underhand deeds. 

He was threatened openly, and his numerous artifices and 
wiles were of no use to him. In one day, and almost with- 
out a struggle, he was precipitated from that height to which 
he had been raised by the blind love of the old King. His 
fall was heavy, and above all disgraceful; he retired muti- 
lated, abandoning the regency to his rival, and only preserving, 
out of all the favors accumulated upon him, the superintend- 
ence of the royal education, the command of the artillery, and 
the precedence over the dukes and peers. 

The decree, which had just passed the Parliament, struck 
the old court and all attached to it. Letellier did not wait to 
be exiled. Madame de Maintenon took refuge at Saint Gyr, 
and Monsieur le Due du Maine shut himself up in the beauti- 
ful town of Sceaux, to finish his translation of Lucrece. 

The Chevalier d'Harmental saw, as a passive spectator, 
these different intrigues, waiting till they should assume a 
character which would permit him to take part in them. 
If there had been an open and armed contest, he would have 
taken that side to which gratitude called him. Too young 
and too chaste, if we may say so, in politics, to turn with the 
wind of fortune, he remained faithful to the memory of the 
old King, and to the ruins of the old court. 

His absence from the Palais Eoyal, round which hovered 
all those who wished to take a place in the political sky, was 
interpreted as opposition ; and one morning, as he had received 
the brevet which gave him a regiment, he received the decree 
which took it from him. 



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22 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

D'HarmentaJ had the ambition of his age. The only 
career open to a gentleman was that of arms. His d^but 
had been brilliant, and the blow which at five-and-twenty took 
from him his hopes for the future was profoundly painful. He 
ran to Monsieur de Villars, in whom he had found so warm a 
protector. The marshal received him with the coldness of a 
man who not only wishes to forget the past, but also to see it 
forgotten. 

D'Harmental understood that the old courtier was about 
to change his skin, and retired discreetly. Though the age 
was essentially that of egotism, the chevalier's first experience 
of it was bitter to him; but he was at that happy time of 
life when a disappointed ambition is rarely a deep or lasting 
grief. 

Ambition is the passion of those who have no other, and 
the chevalier had all those proper to five-and-twenty years of 
age ; besides, the spirit of the times did not tend to melan- 
choly ; that is a modern sentiment, springing from the over- 
throw of fortunes and the weakness of man. In the eighteenth 
century it was rare to dream of abstract things, or aspire to 
the unknown: men went straight to pleasure, glory, or for- 
tune, and all who were handsome, brave or intriguing could 
attain them. That was the time when people were not 
ashamed to be happy. Now mind governs matter so much 
that men dare not avow that they are happy. 

After the long and sombre winter of Louis XIV.'s old age 
appeared all at once the joyous and brilliant spring of a 
young royalty. Every one basked in this new sun, radiant 
and benevolent, and went about buzzing and careless, like the 
bees and butterflies on the first fine day. The Chevalier 
d'Harmental had retained his sadness for a week; then he 
mixed again in the crowd, and was drawn in by the whirlpool 
which threw him at the feet of a pretty woman. 

For three months he had been the happiest man in the 
world. He had forgotten Saint Cyr, the Tuileries, and the 
Palais Eoyal. He did not know whether there was a Madame 
de Maintenon, a King, or a Regent. He only knew that it is 
sweet to live when one is loved, and he did not see why he 
should not live and love forever. He was still in this dream, 
when, as we have said, supping with his friend the Baron de 
Yalef at La Fillon's, in the Eue Saint Honore, he had been 
all at once brutally awakened by Lafare. Lovers are often 



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A BAL-MASQUE OF THE PERIOD. — THE BAT. 23 

unpleasantly awakened, and we have seen that lyHarmental 
was not more patient under it than others. It was more 
pardonable in the chevalier, because he thought he loved 
truly, and that in his juvenile good faith he thought nothing 
could replace that love in his heart. 

Thus Madame d'Aveme's strange but candid letter, instead 
of inspiring him with the admiration which it merited at that 
time, had at first overwhelmed him. It is the property of 
every sorrow which overtakes us to reawaken past griefs 
which we believed dead, but which were only sleeping. The 
soul has its scars as well as the body, and they are seldom so 
well healed but a new wound can reopen them. 

D'Harmental again began to feel ambitious. The loss of 
his mistress had recalled to him the loss of his regiment. It 
required nothing less than the second letter, so unexpected 
and mysterious, to divert him from his grief. A lover of our 
days would have thrown it from him with disdain, and would 
have despised himself if he had not nursed his grief so as to 
make himself poetically melancholy for a week ; but a lover 
in the regency was much more accommodating. Suicide was 
scarcely discovered, and if by chance people fell into the 
water, they did not drown as long as there was the least little 
straw to cling to. D'Harmental did not affect the cox- 
combry of sadness. He decided, sighing it is true, that he 
would go to the opera ball ; and for a lover betrayed in so 
unforeseen and cruel a manner this was something; but to 
the shame of our poor human nature, it must be admitted that 
he was chiefly led to this philosophic determination by the 
fact that the letter was written by a woman's hand. 



CHAPTER IV. 

A BAL-MASQUK OF THE PEBIOD. THE BAT. 

Opeba balls were then at the height of their popularity. 
They were an invention of the Chevalier de BuUon, who only 
obtained pardon for assuming the title of Prince d'Auvergne, 
nobody exactly knew why, by rendering this service to the 
dissipated society of the time. It was he who had invented 
the double flooring which put the pit on a level with the 



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24 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

stage ; and the Regent, who highly appreciated all good inven- 
tions, had granted him in recompense a pension of two thou- 
sand livres, which was four times what the Grand Eoi had 
given to Corneille. That beautiful room, with its rich and 
grave architecture, which the Cardinal de Eichelieu had 
inaugurated by his "Mirame," where Sully and Quinault's 
pastorals had been represented, and where Molifere had himself 
played his principal works, was this evening the rendezvous of 
all that was noble, rich, and elegant. 

D'Harmental, from a feeling of spite, very natural in his 
situation, had taken particular pains with his toilette. When 
he arrived, the room was already full, and he had an instant's 
fear that the mask with the violet ribbons would not find 
him, inasmuch as the unknown had neglected to assign a 
place of meeting, and he congratulated himself on having 
come unmasked. This resolution showed great confidence 
in the discretion of his late adversaries, a word from whom 
would have sent him before the Parliament, or at least to the 
Bastile. But so much confidence had the gentlemen of that 
day in each other's good faith, that, after having in the 
morning passed his sword through the body of one of the 
Regent's favorites, the chevalier came, without hesitation, to 
seek an adventure at the Palais Royal. The first person he 
saw there was the young Due de Richelieu, whose name, 
adventures, elegance, and perhaps indiscretions, had already 
brought him so much into fashion. It was said that two 
princesses of the blood disputed his affections, which did 
not prevent Madame de Nesle and Madame de Polignac 
from fighting with pistols for him, or Madame de Sabran, 
Madame de Yillars, Madame de Mouchy, and Madame de 
Tencin from sharing his heart. 

He had just joined the Marquis de Canillac, one of the 
Regent's favorites, whom, on account of the grave appearance 
he affected, his Highness called his mentor. Richelieu began 
to tell Canillac a story, out loud and with much gesticulation. 
The chevalier knew the duke, but not enough to interrupt a 
conversation; he was going to pass, when the duke seized 
him by the coat. 

" Pardieu I " he said, " my dear chevalier, you are not de 
trop. I am telling Canillac an adventure which may be 
useful to him as nocturnal lieutenant to the Regent, and to 
you, as running the same danger that I did. The history 



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A BAL-MASQUE OF THE PERIOD.— THE BAT. 25 

dates from to-day — a further merit, as I have only had time 
to tell it to about twenty people, so that it is scarcely known. 
Spread it ; you will oblige me, and the Regent also." 

D'Harmental frowned. The duke had chosen his time 
badly. At this moment the Chevalier de Ravanne passed, 
pursuing a mask. " Ravanne ! " cried Richelieu, " Ravanne I " 

" I am not at leisure,'' replied he. 

" Do you know where Lafare is ? " 

" He is indisposed." 

« And Fargy ? " 

" He is laid up with a sprain." And Ravanne disappeared 
in the crowd, after bowing in the most friendly manner to 
his adversary of the morning. 

" Well, and the story ? " asked Canillac. 

" We are coming to it. Imagine that some time ago, when 
I left the Bastile, where my duel with Gac^ had sent me, 
three or four days after my reappearance Raf^ gave me a 
charming little note from Madame de Parab^re, inviting me 
to pass that evening with her. You understand, chevalier, 
that it is not at the moment of leaving the Bastile that one 
would despise a rendezvous, given by the mistress of him 
who holds the keys. No need to inquire if I was punctual ; 
guess who I found seated on the sofa by her side. I give 
you a hundred guesses." 

" Her husband," said Canillac. 

" On the contrary, it was his Royal Highness himself. I was 
so much the more astonished, as I had been admitted with 
some mystery ; nevertheless, as you will understand, I would 
not allow myself to appear astonished. I assumed a composed 
and modest air, like yours, Canillac, and saluted the marquise 
with such profound respect that the Regent laughed. I did 
not expect this explosion, and was a little disconcerted. I 
took a chair, but the Regent signed to me to take my place on 
the sofa. I obeyed. 

"*My dear duke,' he said, *we have written to you on a 
serious, affair. Here is this poor marchioness, who, after being 
separated from her husband for two years, is threatened with 
an action by this clown, under pretext that she has a lover.' 
The marchioness tried to blush, but finding she could not, 
covered her face with her fan. ' At the first word she told 
me of her position,' continued the Regent, ' I sent for D'Argen- 
son and asked him who this lover could be.' 



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26 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

" * Oh, monsieur, spare me ! ' said the marchioness. — ' Non- 
sense, my little duck ; a little patience/ — * Do you know what 
the lieutenant of police answered me, my deaf duke ? ' — < No,' 
said I, much embarrassed. — *He said it was either you or 
me.' — 'It is an atrocious calumny,' I cried. — 'Don't be 
excited, the marchioness has confessed all.' 

«*Then,' I replied, 'if the marchioness has confessed all, 
I do not see what remains for me to tell.' — ' Oh ! ' continued 
the Regent, ' I do not ask you for details. It only remains 
for us, as accomplices, to get one another out of the scrape.' 
— ' And what have you to fear, monseigneur ? ' I asked. ' I 
know that, protected by your Highness 's name, I might brave 
all. What have we to fear ? ' — * The outcry of Parab^re, who 
wants me to make him a duke.' 

" ' Well, suppose we reconcile them,' replied I. — * Exactly,' 
said his Highness, laughing ; ' and you have had the same idea 
as the marchioness.' — ^ Fardieuy madame, that is an honor 
for me. There must be a kind of apparent reconciliation 
between this tender couple, which would prevent the marquis 
from incommoding us with the scandal of an action.' — ' But 
the diflSculty,' objected Madame de Parab^re, 'is, that it is two 
years since he has been here ; and, as he piques himself on his 
jealousy and severity, what can we say ? He has made a vow 
that if any one sets foot here during his absence the law 
should avenge him.' 

*' ' You see, Richelieu, this becomes rather uncomfortable,' 
added the Regent. — ' Feste ! It does indeed.' — ' I have some 
means of coercion in my hands, but they do not go so far as 
to force a husband to be reconciled to his wife and to receive 
her at his house.' — ' Well,' replied I, ' suppose we bring him 
here.' — ' There is the difficulty.' — ' Wait a moment. May I 
ask if Monsieur de Parabere still has a weakness for cham- 
pagne and burgundy ? ' — 'I fear so,' said the marchioness. — 
' Then, monseigneur, we are saved. I invite the marquis to 
supper, with a dozen of muuvais sujets and charming women. 
You send Dubois.' — ' What ! Dubois ? ' asked the Regent. 

"'Certainly; one of us must remain sober. As Dubois 
cannot drink, he must undertake to make the marquis drink ; 
and when everybody is under the table he can take him away 
from us and do what he likes with him. The rest depends 
on the coachman.' — ' Did I not tell you, marchioness,' said 
the Regent, ' that Richelieu would give us good advice ? Stop, 



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A BAL^MASQUE OF THE PERIOD, — THE BAT. 27 

duke/ continued he ; ' you must leave off wandering round 
certain palaces ; leave the old lady to die quietly at St. Cyr, 
the lame man to rhyme at Sceaux, and join yourself with us. 
I will give you, in my cabinet, the place of that old fool 
D'Axelles ; and affairs will not perhaps be injured by it.' — < I 
dare say,' answered I. 'The thing is impossible ; I have other 
plans.' — * Obstinate fellow ! ' murmured the Regent." 

" And Monsieur de Parabere ? " asked the Chevalier d'Har- 
mental, curious to know the end of the story. 

"Oh! everything passed as we arranged it. He went to 
sleep at my house, and awoke at his wife's. He made a great 
noise, but there was no longer any possibility of crying scandal. 
His carriage had stopped at his wife's hotel, and all the 
servants saw him enter. He was reconciled in spite of himself. 
If he dares again to complain of his beautiful wife we will 
prove to him, as clearly as possible, that he adores her without 
knowing it ; and that she is the most innocent of women — 
also without his knowing it." 

" Chevalier ! " at this moment a sweet and flute-like voice 
whispered in D'Harmental^s ear, while a little hand rested on 
his arm. 

" You see that I am wanted." 

" I will let you go on one condition." 

« What is it ? " 

" That you will tell my story to this charming bat, charging 
her to tell it to all the night-birds of her acquaintance." 

« I fear," said D'Harmental, " I shall not have time." 

" Oh I so much the better for you," replied the duke, free- 
ing the chevalier, whom till then he had held by the coat ; 
" for then you must have something better to say." 

And he turned on his heel to take the arm of a domino, 
who, in passing, complimented him on his adventure. D'Har- 
mental threw a rapid glance on the mask who accosted him, 
in order to make sure that it was the one with whom he had 
a :rendezvous, and was satisfied on seeing a violet ribbon on 
the left shoulder. He hastened to a distance from Canillac 
and Richelieu, in order not to be interrupted in a conversation 
which he expected to be highly interesting. 

The unknown, whose voice betrayed her sex, was of middle 
height, and young, as far as one could judge from the elastic- 
ity of her movements. As M. de Richelieu had already 
remarked, she had adopted the costume best calculated to 



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28 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL, 

hide either graces or defects. She was dressed as a bat — a 
costume much in vogue, and very convenient, from its perfect 
simplicity, being composed only of two black skirts. The 
manner of employing them was at the command of every- 
body. One was fastened, as usual, round the waist; the 
masked head was passed through the placket-hole of the other. 
The front was pulled down to make wings ; the back raised 
to make horns. You were almost certain thus to puzzle an 
interlocutor, who could only recognize you by the closest 
scrutiny. 

The chevalier made all these observations in less time than 
it has taken to describe them ; but having no knowledge of the 
person with whom he had to deal, and believing it to be some 
love-intrigue, he hesitated to speak; when, turning towards 
him : 

" Chevalier," said the mask, without disguising her voice, 
assuming that her voice was unknown to him, " do you know 
that I am doubly grateful to you for having come, particu- 
larly in the state of mind in which you are ? It is unfortu- 
nate that I cannot attribute this exactitude to anything but 
curiosity." 

" Beautiful mask ! " answered D'Harmental, " did you not 
tell me in your letter that you were a good genius ? ISTow, if 
really you partake of a superior nature, the past, the present, 
and the future must be known to you. You knew, then, that 
I should come ; and, since you knew it, my coming ought not 
to astonish you." 

"Alas I " replied the unknown, " it is easy to see that you 
are a weak mortal, and that you are happy enough never to 
have raised yourself above your sphere, otherwise you would 
know that if we, as you say, know the past, the present and 
the future, this science is silent as to what regards ourselves, 
and that the things we most desire remain to us plunged in 
the most dense obscurity." 

" Diable I Monsieur le Genie," answered D^Harmental, *' do 
you know that you will make me very vain if you continue in 
that tone ; for, take care, you have told me, or nearly so, 
that you had a great desire that I should come to your ren- 
dezvous." 

" I did not think I was telling you anything new, chevalier. 
It appeared to me that my letter would leave you no doubt as 
to the desire I felt of seeing you." 



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A BAIr-MASQUE OF THE PERIOD. — THE BAT. 29 

''This desire, wMch I only a4niit because you confess it 
and I am too gallant to contradict you — has it not made you 
promise in your letter more than is in your power to keep ? " 

<' Make a trial of my science ; that will give you a test of 
my power." 

'' Oh, mon Dieu / I will confine myself to the simplest 
thing. You say you are acquainted witii the past, the present, 
and the future. Tell me my fortune." 

" Nothing easier ; give me your hand." 

D'Harmental did what was asked of him. 

" Sir," said the stranger, after a moment's examination, " I 
see very legibly written by the direction of the 'adducta,' 
and by the arrangement of the longitudinal lines of the palm, 
five words, in which are included the history of your life. 
These words are courage, ambition, disappointment, love, and 
treason." 

" Feste / " interrupted the chevalier, " I did not know that 
the genii studied anatomy so deeply, and were obliged to take 
their degrees like a Bachelor of Salamanca ! " 

'' Genii know all that men know, and many other things 
besides, chevalier." 

" Well, then, what mean these words, at once so sonorous 
and so opposite ? and what do they teach you of me in the 
past, my very learned genius ? " 

" They teach me that it is by your courage alone that you 
gained the rank of colonel, which you occupied in the army 
in Flanders ; that this rank awakened your ambition ; that 
this ambition has been followed by a disappointment; that 
you hoped to console yourself for this disappointment by 
love ; but that love, like fortune, is subject to treachery, and 
that you have been betrayed." 

"Not bad," said the chevalier; "and the Sybil of Cuma 
could not have got out of it better. A little vague, as in all 
horoscopes, but a great fund of truth, nevertheless. Let us 
come to the present, beautiful mask." 

" The present, chevalier ? Let us speak softly of it, for it 
smells terribly of the Bastile." 

The chevalier started in spite of himself, for he believed 
that no one except the actors who had played a pai-t in it 
could know his adventure of the morning. 

" There are at this hour," continued the stranger, " two 
brave gentlemen lying sadly in their beds, whilst we ch^t 



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80 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

gaily at the ball; and that because a certain Chevalier 
d'Harmental^ a great listener at doors, did not remember a 
hemistich of Virgil." 

"And what is this hemistich ? '^ asked the chevalier, more 
and more astonished. 

" * Facilis descensus Avemi/ " said the mask, laughing. 

"My dear genius," cried the chevalier, trying to peep 
through the openings in the stranger's mask, " that, allow me 
to inform you, is a quotation rather masculine." 

" Do you not know that genii are of both sexes ? " 

" Yes ; but I had never heard that they quoted the ^neid 
so fluently." 

" Is not the quotation appropriate ? You speak to me of 
the Sybil of Cuma ; I answer you in her language. You ask 
for existing things ; I give them you. But you mortals are 
never satisfied." 

" No ; for I confess that this knowledge of the past and 
the present inspires me with a terrible desire to know the 
future." 

" There are always two futures," said the mask ; " there is 
the future of weak minds, and the future of strong minds. 
God has given man free will that he might choose. Your 
future depends on yourself." 

" But we must know these two futures to choose the best." 

" Well, there is one which awaits you, somewhere in the 
environs of Nevers, in the depth of the country, amongst the 
rabbits of your warren, and the fowls of your poultry-yard. 
This one will conduct you straight to the magistrate's bench 
of your parish. It is an easy ambition, and you have only to 
let yourself go to attain it. You are on the road." 

"And the other ? " replied the chevalier, visibly piqued at 
the supposition that in any case such a future could be his. 

" The other," said the stranger, leaning her arm on that of 
the young man, and fixing her eyes on him through her mask ; 
" the other will throw you back into noise and light — will 
make you one of the actors in the game which is playing in 
the world, and, whether you gain or lose, will leave you at 
least the renown of a great player." 

« If I lose, what shall I lose ? " asked the chevalier. 

"Life, probably." 

The chevalier tossed his head contemptuously. 

"And if I win ? " added he. 



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A BAL-MASQUE OF THE PERIOD.— THE BAT. 31 

" What do you say to the rank of colonel of horse, the title 
of Grandee of Spain, and the order of the Saint Esprit, with- 
out counting the field-marshal's baton in prospective ? " 

" I say that the prize is worth the stake, and that if you 
can prove to me that you can keep your promise I am your 
man/' 

" This proof," replied the mask, " must be given you by 
another, and if you wish to have it you must follow me." 

" Oh ! " said D'Harmental, " am I deceived, and are you but 
a genius of the second order — a subaltern spirit, an inter- 
mediate power ? BiaJble ! this would take away a little of my 
consideration for you." 

<< What does it matter if I am subject to some great enchant- 
ress and she has sent me to you ? " 

" I warn you that I do not treat with ambassadors." 

" My mission is to conduct you to her." 

« Then I shall see her ? " 

" Face to face." 

" Let us go, then." 

" Chevalier, you go quickly to the work ; you forget that 
before all initiations there are certain indispensable cere- 
monies to secure the discretion of the initiated." 

" What must I do ? " 

"You must allow your eyes to be bandaged, and let me 
lead you where I like. When arrived at the door of the 
temple, you must take a solemn oath to reveal nothing con- 
cerning the things you may hear, or the people you may 
see." 

"I am ready to swear by the Styx," said D'Harmental, 
laughing. 

" No, chevalier," said the mask, in a grave voice ; " swear 
only by your honor ; you are known, and that will suflSce." 

" And when I have taken this oath," asked the chevalier, 
after an instant's reflection, "will it be permitted to me to 
retire if the proposals made are not such as a gentleman may 
entertain ? " 

" Your conscience will be your sole arbiter, and your word 
the only pledge demanded of you." 

" I am ready," said the chevalier. 

" Let us go, then," said the mask. 

The chevalier prepared to cross the room in a straight line 
towards the doorj but perceiving three of his friends, who 



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32 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

might have stopped him on the way, he made a tarn, and 
described a curve which would bring him to the same end. 

" What are you doing ? " asked tie mask. 

<^ I am avoiding some one who might detain us." 

" Ah ! " said the mask, '^ I began to fear." 

« Fear what ? " asked D'Harmental. 

" To fear that your ardor was diminished in the proportion 
of the diagonal to the two sides of a square." 

" Pardieu ! " said lyHarmental, " this is the first time, I 
believe, that ever a rendezvous was given to a gentleman at 
an opera ball to talk anatomy, ancient literature, and mathe- 
matics. I am sorry to say so, but you are the most pedantic 
genius I ever met in my life." 

The bat burst out laughing, but made no reply to this 
sally, in which was betrayed the spite of the chevalier at 
not being able to recognize a person who appeared to be so 
well acquainted with his adventures ; but £is this only added 
to his curiosity, both descended in equal haste, and found 
themselves in the vestibule. 

" What road shall we take ? " asked the chevalier. " Shall 
we travel underground, or in a car drawn by griffins ? " 

" With your permission, chevalier, we will simply go in a 
carriage ; and though you appear to doubt it, I am a woman, 
and rather afraid of the dark." 

" Permit me, then, to call my carriage," said the chevalier. 

" Not at all ; I have my own." 

"Call it, then." 

"With your permission, chevalier, we will not be more 
proud than Mahomet with the mountain ; and as my carriage 
cannot come to us, we will go to it." 

At these words the bat drew the chevalier into the Rue 
St. Honor^. A carriage without armorial bearings, with two 
dark-colored horses, waited at the corner of the street. The 
coachman was on his seat, enveloped in a great cape which hid 
the lower part of his face, while a three-cornered hat covered 
his forehead and eyes. A footman held the door open with 
one hand, and with the other held his handkerchief so as to 
conceal his face. 

" Get in,'" said the mask. 

D'Harmental hesitated a moment. The anxiety of the 
servants to preserve their incognito, the carriage without 
blazon, the obscure place where it was drawn up, and the 



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THE ARSENAL. 83 

advanced hour of the night, all inspired the chevalier with a 
sentiment of mistrust ; but reflecting that he gave his arm to 
a woman, and had a sword by his side, he got in boldly. The 
mask sat down by him, and the footman closed the door. 

" Well, are we not going to start ? '' said the chevalier, 
seeing that the carrige remained motionless. 

" There remains a little precaution to be taken," said the 
mask, drawing a silk handkerchief from her pocket. 

" Ah ! yes, true," said D'Harmental ; " I had forgotten. I 
give myself up to you with confidence." 

And he advanced his head. The unknown bandaged his 
eyes ; then said : 

"Chevalier, you give me your word of honor not to remove 
this bandage till I give you permission ? " 

« I do." 

" It is well." 

Then, raising the glass in front, she said to the coachman : 

" You know where, Monsieur le Comte." 

And the carriage started at a gallop. 



CHAPTER V. 

THE ARSENAIi. 



During the ride they both maintained a profound silence. 
This adventure, which at first had presented itself under the 
appearance of an amorous intrigue, had already assumed a 
graver aspect, and appeared to turn towards political machin- 
ations. If this new aspect did not frighten the chevalier, at 
least it gave him matter for reflection. There is a moment 
in the affairs of every man which decides upon his future. 
This moment, however important it may be, is rarely pre- 
pared by calculation or directed by will. It is almost always 
chance which takes a man as the wind does a leaf, and throws 
him into some new and unknown path, where, once entered, 
he is obliged to obey a superior force, and where, while bcr 
lieving himself free, he is but the slave of circumstances and 
the plaything of events. 

Thus it was with the chevalier. Interest and gratitude 
attached him to the party of the old court. D'Harmental, 



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34 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

in consequence, had not calculated the good or the harm that 
Madame de Maintenon had done France. He did not weigh 
in the balance of genealogy Monsieur du Maine and Monsieur 
d'Orleans. He felt that he must devote his life to those 
who had raised him from obscurity and, knowing the old 
King's will, regarded Monsieur d'Orleans' accession to the 
regency as usurpation. 

Fully expecting an armed reaction against this power, he 
looked around for the standard which he should follow. 
Nothing that he expected happened; Spain had not even 
protested. Monsieur du Maine, worsted by his short contest, 
had retired into the shade. Monsieur de Toulouse, good, 
easy, and almost ashamed of the favors which had fallen to 
the share of himself and his elder brother, would not permit 
even the supposition that he could put himself at the head of 
a party. The Marshal de Villeroy had made a feeble and 
systemless opposition. Villars went to no one, but waited for 
some one to come to him. D'Axelles had changed sides, and 
had accepted the post of secretary for foreign affairs. The 
dukes and peers took patience, and paid court to the Regent, 
in the hope that he would at last take away from the Dukes 
of Maine and Toulouse the precedence which Louis XIV. had 
given them. 

Finally, there was discontent with, and even opposition to, 
the government of the Due d'Orleans, but all impalpable and 
disjointed. This is what D'Harmental had seen, and what 
had resheathed his half-drawn sword : he thought he was the 
only one who saw another issue to affairs, and he gradually 
came to the conclusion that that issue had no existence, except 
in his own imagination, since those who should have been 
most interested in that result seemed to regard it as so impos- 
sible that they did not even attempt to attain to it. 

Although the carriage had been on the road nearly half an 
hour, the chevalier had not found it long ; so deep were his 
reflections that, even if his eyes had not been bandaged, he 
would have been equally ignorant of what streets they passed 
through. At length he heard the wheels rumbling as if they 
were passing under an arch. He heard the grating of hinges 
as the gate opened to admit him, and closed behind him, and 
directly after, the carriage, having described a semi-circle, 
stopped. 

" Chevalier," said his guide, " if you have any fear, there 



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THE ARSENAL. 36 

is still time to draw back; if, on the contrary, you have not 
changed your resolution, come with me." 

D'HarmentaPs only answer was to extend his hand. 

The footman opened the door ; the unknown got out first, 
and then assisted the chevalier. His feet soon encountered 
some steps; he mounted six — still conducted by the masked 
lady — crossed a vestibule, passed through a corridor, and 
entered a room. 

" We are now arrived," said the unknown, " you remember 
our conditions ; you are free to accept or refuse a part in the 
piece about to be played, but, in case of a refusal, you prom- 
ise not to divulge anything you may see or hear." 

" I swear it on my honor," replied the chevalier. 

" Sit down, then ; wait in this room, and do not remove the 
bandage till you hear two o'clock strike. You have not long 
to wait." 

At these words his conductress left him. Two o'clock soon 
struck, and the chevalier tore off the bandage. He was alone 
in the most marvellous boudoir possible to imagine. It was 
small and octagonal, hung with lilac and silver, with furniture 
and portieres of tapestry. Buhl tables, covered with splendid 
china ; a Persian carpet, and the ceiling painted by Watteau, 
who was then coming into fashion. At this sight, the chev- 
alier found it diflScult to believe that he had been sum- 
moned on grave matters, and almost returned to his first ideas. 

At this moment a door opened in the tapestry, and there 
appeared a woman who, in the fantastic pre-occupation of his 
spirit, lyHarmental might have taken for a fairy, so slight, 
small, and delicate was her figure. She was dressed in pearl 
gray satin covered with bouquets, so beautifully embroidered 
that, at a short distance, they appeared like natural flowers ; 
the flounces, rufles and head-dress were of English point; it 
was fastened with pearls and diamonds. Her face was 
covered with a half-mask of black velvet, from which hung 
a deep black lace. D'Harmental bowed, for there was some- 
thing royal in the walk and manner of this woman which 
showed him that the other had been only an envoy. 

" Madame," said he, " have I really, as I begin to believe, 
quitted the earth for the land of spirits, and are you the 
powerful fairy to whom this beautiful palace belongs ? " 

" Alas ! chevalier," replied the masked lady, in a sweet 
but decided voice, " I am not a powerful fairy, but, on the 



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86 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

contrary, a poor princess, persecuted by a wicked enchanter, 
who has taien from me my crown, and oppresses my king- 
dom. Thus, you see, I am seeking a brave knight to de- 
liver me, and your renown has led me to address myself to 
you." 

" If my life could restore you your past power, madame," 
replied D^Harmental, " speak ; I am ready to risk it with joy. 
Who is this enchanter that I must combat ; this giant that I 
must destroy ? Since you have chosen me above all, I will 
prove myself worthy of the honor. From this moment I 
engage my word, even if it cost me my life.'' 

"If you lose your life, chevalier, it will be in good com- 
pany,'' said the lady, untying her mask, and revealing her 
face, " for you would lose it with the son of Louis XIV. and 
the granddaughter of the great Cond^." 

" Madame la Duchesse du Maine ! " cried I^Harmental, 
falling on one knee ; " will your Highness pardon me, if not 
knowing you, I have said anything which may fall short of 
the profound respect I feel for you." 

"You have said nothing for which I am not proud and 
grateful, chevalier, but, perhaps, you now repent. If so, you 
are at liberty to withdraw." 

"Heaven forbid, madame, that having had the honor to 
engage my life in the service of so great and noble a princess 
I should deprive myself of the greatest honor I ever dared 
to hope for. Ko, madame; take seriously, I beg, what I 
offered half in jest : my arm, my sword, and my life." 

" I see," said the Duchesse du Maine, with that smile which 
gave her such power over all who approached her, " that the 
Baron de Valef did not deceive me, and you are such as he 
described. Come, I will present you to our friends." 

The duchess went first, D'Harmental followed, astonished 
at what had passed, but fully resolved, partly from pride, 
partly from conviction, not to withdraw a step. 

The duchess conducted him to a room where four new per- 
sonages awaited him. These were the Cardinal de Polignac, 
the Marquis de Pompadour, Monsieur de Malezieux, and the 
Abb^ Brigand. 

The Cardinal de Polignac was supposed to be the lover of 
Madame du Maine. He was a handsome prelate, from forty 
to forty-five years of age; always dressed with the greatest 
care, with an unctuous voice, a cold face, and a timid heart ; 



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THE DUCHESSE DU MAINE. 
(From an engraving after a drawing by Hubert.) 



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THE ARSENAL. 87 

devoured by ambition, which was eternally combated by the 
weakness of his character, which always drew him back 
where he should advance; of high birth, as his name indi- 
cated, very learned for a cardinal, and very well informed for 
a nobleman. 

Monsieur de Pompadour was a man of from forty-five to 
fifty, who had been a minion of the dauphin's, the son of 
Louis XIV., and who had so great a love for his whole 
family that, seeing with grief that the Regent was going to 
declare war against Philip V., he had thrown himself, body 
and soul, into the Due du Maine's party. Proud and disin- 
terested, he had given a rare example of loyalty in sending 
back to the Eegent the brevet of his pensions and those of 
his wife, and in refusing for himself and the Marquis de 
Courcillon, his son-in-law, every place offered to them. 

Monsieur de Malezieux was a man of from sixty to sixty- 
five. Chancellor of Dombes and Lord of Chatenay : he owed 
this double title to the gratitude of M. du Maine, whose 
education he had conducted. A poet, a musician, an author 
of small comedies, which he played himself with infinite 
spirit ; born for an idle and intellectual life ; always occupied 
in procuring pleasure for others, and above all for Madame 
du Maine, whom he adored, he was a type of the Sybarite of 
the eighteenth century, but, like the Sybarites, who, drawn by 
the aspect of beauty, followed Cleopatra to Actium and were 
killed around her, he would have followed his dear 
B^n^dicte through fire and water, and, at a word from her, 
would, without hesitation and almost without regret, have 
thrown himself from the towers of Notre Dame. 

The Abbe Brigand was the son of a Lyons merchant. His 
father, who was commercially related with the court of Spain, 
was charged to make overtures, as if on his own account, for 
the marriage of the young Louis XIV. with the young Maria 
Theresa of Austria. If these overtures had been badly 
received, the ministers of France would have disavowed them ; 
but they were well received, and they supported them. The 
marriage took place ; and, as the little Brigand was born about 
the same time as the dauphin, he asked, in recompense, that 
the King's son should stand godfather to his child, which was 
granted to him. He then made acquaintance with the Mar- 
quis de Pompadour, who, as we have said, was one of the 
pages of honor. When he was of an age to decide on his 



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88 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

profession he joined the Fathers of the Oratory. He was 
clever and ambitious but, as often happens to the greatest 
geniuses, he had never had an opportunity of making himself 
known. » 

Some time before the period of which we are writing he 
met the Marquis de Pompadour, who was seeking a man of 
spirit and enterprise as the secretary of Madame du Maine. 
He told him to what the situation would expose him at the 
present time. Brigand weighed for an instant the good and 
evil chances and, as the former seemed to predominate, he 
accepted it. 

Of these four men, D'Harmental only knew the Marquis 
de Pompadour, whom he had often met at the house of Mon- 
sieur de Gourcillon, his son-in-law, a distant relation of the 
D'Harmentals. 

When D'Harmental entered the room. Monsieur de Polig- 
nac, Monsieur de Malezieux, and Monsieur de Pompadour 
were standing talking at the fireplace, and the Abbe Brigand 
was seated at a table classifying some papers. 

" Gentlemen," said the Duchesse du Maine, " here is the 
brave champion of whom the Baron de Valef has spoken to 
us, and who has been brought here by your dear De Launay, 
Monsieur de Malezieux. If his name and antecedents are 
not sufficient to stand sponsor for him, I will answer for him 
personally." 

"Presented thus by your Highness," said Malezieux, "we 
shall see in him not only a companion, but a chief, whom we 
are ready to follow wherever he may lead." 

" My dear D'Harmental," said the Marquis de Pompadour, 
extending his hand to him, " we were already relations, we 
are now almost brothers." 

" Welcome, monsieur ! " said the Cardinal de Polignac, in 
the unctuous tone habitual to him, and which contrasted so 
strangely with the coldness of his countenance. 

The Abb^ Brigand raised his head with a movement re- 
sembling that of a serpent, and fixed on D'Harmental two 
little eyes brilliant as those of the lynx. 

" Grentlemen," said D'Harmental, after having answered 
each of them by a bow, " I am new and strange amongst you, 
and, above all, ignorant of what is passing, or in what manner 
I can serve you ; but though my word has only been engaged 
to you for a few minutes, my devotion to your cause is of 



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THE ARSENAL. 89 

many yeaxs^ standing. I beg you, therefore, to grant me the 
confidence so graciously claimed for me by her Highness. All 
that I shall ask after that will be a speedy occasion to prove 
myself worthy of it." 

" Well said I " cried the Duchesse du Maine ; " commend me to 
a soldier for going straight to the point ! No, Monsieur 
d'Harmental, we will have no secrets from you, and the 
opportunity you require, and which will place each of us in 
our proper position " — 

"Excuse me, Madame la Duchesse," interrupted the car- 
dinal, who was playing uneasily with his necktie, " but, from 
your manner, the chevalier will think that the affair is a 
conspiracy." 

" And what is it then, cardinal ? " asked the duchess, 
impatiently. 

" It is," said the cardinal, " a council, secret it is true, but 
in no degree reprehensible, in which we only seek a means 
of remedying the misfortunes of the state, and enlightening 
France on her true interests by recalling the last will of the 
King, Louis XIV." 

" Stay, cardinal I " said the duchess, stamping her foot ; 
" you will kill me with impatience by your circumlocutions. 
Chevalier," continued she, addressing D'Harmental, " do not 
listen to his Eminence, who at this moment, doubtless, is think- 
ing of his Lucrece. If it had been a simple council, the 
talents of his Eminence would soon have extricated us from 
our troubles, without the necessity of applying to you ; but it 
is a bona fide conspiracy against the Regent — a conspiracy 
which numbers the King of Spain, Cardinal Alberoni, the Due 
du Maine, myself, the Marquis de Pompadour, Monsieur de 
Malezieux, I'Abb^ Brigand, Valef, yourself, the cardinal him- 
self the president ; and which will include half the Parliament 
and three parts of France. This is the matter in hand, chev- 
alier. Are you content, cardinal? Have I spoken clearly, 
gentlemen ? " 

" Madame " — murmured Malezieux, joining his hands 
before her with more devotion than he would have done before 
the Virgin. 

" No, no ; stop, Malezieux," said the duchess, " but the 
cardinal enrages me with his half-measures. Mon Dleu ! are 
these eternal waverings worthy of a man ? For myself, I do 
not ask a sword^ I do not ask a dagger ; give me but a nail 



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40 2'HE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

and I, a woman, and almost a dwarf, will go, like a new Jael, 
and drive it into the temple of this other Sisera. Then all 
will be finished ; and, if I fail, no one but myself will be 
compromised." 

Monsieur de Polignac sighed deeply ; Pompadour burst out 
laughing ; Malezieux tried to calm the duchess ; and Brigand 
bent his head and went on writing as if he had heard nothing. 
As to D'Harmental he would have kissed the hem of her 
dress, so superior was this woman, in his eyes, to the four men 
who surrounded her. 

At this moment they heard the sound of a carriage, which 
drove into the courtyard and stopped at the door. The person 
expected was doubtless some one of importance, for there was 
an instant silence, and the Duchesse du Maine, in her impa- 
tience, went herself to open the door. 

" Who is it ? " asked she. 

" He is here," said a voice, which D'Harmental recognized 
as that of .the bat. 

" Come in, prince," said the duchess 5 " we wait for you." 



CHAPTER VI. 

THE PBINCE DE CELLAMABE. 

At this invitation there entered a tall, thin, grave man, with 
a sunburnt complexion, who at a single glance took in every- 
thing in the room, animate and inanimate. The chevalier 
recognized the ambassador of their Catholic majesties, the 
Prince de Cellamare. 

" Well, prince," asked the duchess, " what have you to tell 
us?" 

" I have to tell you, madame," replied the prince, kissing 
her hand respectfully, and throwing his cloak on a chair, 
" that your Highness had better change coachmen. I predict 
misfortune if you retain in your service the fellow who drove 
me here. He seems to me to be some one employed by the 
Regent to break the necks of your Highness and all your 
companions." 

Every one began to laugh, and particularly the coachman 
himself, who, without ceremony, had entered behind the 



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THE PRINCE DE CELLAMARE. 41 

prince; and who, throwing his hat and cloak on a seat, 
showed himself a man of high bearing, from thirty-five to forty 
years old, with the lower part of his face hidden by a black 
handkerchief." 

"Do you hear, my dear Layal, what the prince says of 
you ? " 

" I do," said Laval ; " and it is worth while to give him 
Montmorencies to be treated like tnat. Ah, M. le Prince, 
the first gentlemen in France are not good enough for your 
coachmen! Feste! you are difficult to please. Have you 
many coachmen at Kaples who date from Robert the 
Strong?" . 

" What ! is it you, my dear count ? " said the prince, holding 
out his hand to him. 

" Myself, prince I Madame la Duchesse sent away her 
coachman to keep Lent in his own family, and engaged me for 
this night. She thought it safer." 

"And Madame la Duchesse did right," said the cardinal. 
" One cannot take too many precautions." 

" Ah, your Eminence," said Laval, "I should like to know if 
you would be of the same opinion after passing half the night 
on the box of a carriage, first to fetch M. d'Harmental from 
the opera ball, and then to take the prince from the H5tel 
Colbert." 

" What ! " said D'Harmental, " was it you. Monsieur le 
Comte, who had the goodness " — 

" Yes, young man," replied Laval ; " and I would have gone 
to the end of the world to bring you here, for I know you. 
You are a gallant gentleman ; you were one of the first to 
enter Denain, and you took Albemarle. You were fortunate 
enough not to leave half your jaw there, as I did in Italy. 
You were right, for it would have been a further motive for 
taking away your regiment, which they have done, however." 

" We will restore you that a hundredfold," said the duchess ; 
" but now let us speak of Spain. Prince, you have news from 
Alberoni, Pompadour tells me." 

" Yes, your Highness." 

"What are they?" 

"Both good and bad. His Majesty Philip V. is in one 
of his melancholy moods and will not determine upon any- 
thing. He will not believe in the treaty of the quadruple 
alliance." 



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42 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

" Will not believe in it ! '' cried the duchess ; " and the 
treaty ought to be signed now. In a week Dubois will have 
brought it here." 

" I know it, your Highness," replied Cellamare, coldly ; 
" but his Catholic majesty does not." 

" Then he abandons us ? " 

« Almost." 

" What becomes, then, of the Queen's fine promises, and the 
empire she pretends to have over her husband ? " 

" She promises to prove it to you, madame," replied the 
prince, " when something is done." 

" Yes," said the Cardinal de Polignac ; " and then she will 
fail in that promise." 

" No, your Eminence ! I will answer for her." 

" What I see most clearly in all this is," said Laval, " that 
we must compromise the King. Once compromised, he must 
go on." 

" Now, then," said Cellamare, " we are coming to business." 

" But how to compromise him," asked the Duchesse du 
Maine, "without a letter from him, without even a verbal 
message, and at five hundred leagues' distance ? " 

<< Has he not his representative at Paris, and is not that 
representative in your house at this very moment, madame ? " 

"Prince," said the duchess, "you have more extended 
powers than you are willing to admit" 

" No ; my powers are limited to telling you that the citadel 
of Toledo and the fortress of Saragossa are at your service. 
Find the means of making the Regent enter there, and their 
Catholic majesties will close the door on him so securely 
that he will not leave it again, I promise you." 

" It is impossible," said Monsieur de Polignac. 

" Impossible ! and why ? " cried D'Harmental. " On the 
contrary, what is more simple? Nothing is necessary but 
eight or ten determined men, a well-closed carriage, and 
relays to Bayonne." 

" I have already offered to undertake it," said I.aval. 

" And I," said Pompadour. 

" You cannot," said the duchess, " the Eegent knows you ; 
and if the thing failed you would be lost." 

"It is a pity," said Cellamare, coldly; "for, once arrived 
at Toledo or Saragossa, there is greatness in store for him 
who shall have succeeded." 



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THE PRINCE DE CELLAMARE. 43 

"And the blue ribbon/' added Madame du Maine, " on his 
return to Paris." 

"Oh, silence, I beg, madame," said D'Harmental ; "for if 
your Highness says such things you give to devotion the air 
of ambition, and rob it of all merit. I was going to offer 
myself for the enterprise — I, who am unknown to the Eegent 
— but now I hesitate ; and yet I venture to believe myself 
worthy of the confidence of your Highness and able to jus- 
tify it." 

" What, chevalier ! " cried the duchess, " you would risk " — 

"My life ; it is all I have to risk. I thought I had already 
offered it, and that your Highness had accepted it. Was 1 
mistaken ? " 

" No, no, chevalier," said the duchess quickly ; " and you 
are a brave and loyal gentleman. I have always believed in 
presentiments, and from the moment Valef pronounced your 
name, telling me that you were what I find you to be, I felt 
of what assistance you woul^ be to us. Gentlemen, you hear 
what the chevalier says ; in what can you aid him ? " 

" In whatever he may want," said Laval and Pompadour. 

"The coffers of their Catholic majesties are at his dis- 
posal," said the Prince de Cellamare, " and he may make free 
use of them." 

" I thank you," said D'Harmental, turning towards the 
Comte de Laval and the Marquis de Pompadour; "but, 
known as you are, you would only make the enterprise more 
difficult. Occupy yourselves only in obtaining for me a pass- 
port for Spain, as if I had the charge of some prisoner of 
importance ; that ought to be easy." 

"I undertake it," said the Abb^ Brigand; "I will get 
from lyArgenson a paper all prepared, which will only have 
to be filled in." 

" Excellent Brigand," said Pompadour ; " he does not speak 
often, but he speaks to the purpose." 

" It is he who should be made cardinal," said the duchess, 
" rather than certain great lords of my acquaintance ; but 
as soon as we can dispose of the blue and the red, be 
easy, gentlemen, we shall not be miserly. Now, cheva- 
lier, you have heard what the prince said. If you want 
money " — 

"Unfortunately," replied D'Harmental, "I am not rich 
enough to refuse his Excellency's offer, and so soon as I have 



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44 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

arriyed at the end of about a million pistoles which I have at 
home, I must have recourse to you." 

" To him, to me, to us all, chevalier, for each one in such 
circumstances should tax himself according to his means. 
I have little ready money, but I have many diamonds and 
pearls ; therefore want for nothing, I beg. All the world has 
not your disinterestedness, and there is devotion which must 
be boughf 

" Above all, be prudent," said the cardinal. 

" Do not be uneasy," replied D'Harmental, contemptuously. 
<<I have sufficient grounds of complaint against the Eegent 
for it to be believed, if I were taken, that it was an affair 
between him and me, and that my vengeance was entirely 
personal." 

^' But," said the Comte de Laval, " you must have a kind 
of lieutenant in this enterprise some one on whom you can 
count. Have you any one ? " 

" I think so," replied D'Harmental ; " but I must be 
informed each morning what the Regent will do in the 
evening. Monsieur le Prince de Cellamare, as ambassador 
must have his secret police." 

" Yes," said the prince, embarrassed, " I have some people 
who give me an account." 

<< That is exactly it," said D'Harmental. 

" Where do you lodge ? " asked the cardinal. 

"At my own house, monseigneur. Rue de Richelieu, 
No. 74." 

" And how long have you lived there ? " 

" Three years." 

" Then you are too well known there, monsieur ; you must 
change quarters. The people whom you receive are known, 
and the sight of strange faces would give rise to questions." 

" This time your Eminence is right," said D'Harmental. " I 
will seek another lodging in some retired neighborhood." 

"I undertake it," said Brigand; "my costume does not 
excite suspicions. I will engage you a lodging as if it was 
destined for a young man from the country who has been 
recommended to me, and who has come to occupy some 
place in an office." 

"Truly, my dear Brigand," said the Marquis de Pompa 
dour, "you are like the princess in the 'Arabian Nights,' 
who never opened her mouth but to drop pearls.'' 



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THE PRINCE DE CELLAMARE. 45 

"Well, it is a settled thing, Monsieur PAbW,'* said lyHar- 
xnental ; <' I reckon on you, and I shall announce at home that 
I am going to leave Paris for a three months' trip.'* 

^' Everything is settled, then,'' said the Duchesse du Maine, 
joyfully. " This is the first time that I have been able to see 
clearly into our affairs, chevalier, and we owe it to you. I 
shall not forget it/' 

" Gentlemen," said Malezieux, pulling out his watch, " I 
would observe that it is four o'clock in &e morning, and that 
we shall kill our dear duchess with fatigue." 

" You are mistaken," said the duchess ; " such nights rest 
me, and it is long since I have passed one so good." 

" Prince," said Laval, " you must be contented with the 
coachman whom you wished discharged, unless you would 
prefer driving yourself, or going on foot." 

"Ko, indeed," said the prince, "I will risk it. I am a 
Neapolitan, and believe in omens. If you overturn me it will 
be a sign that we must stay where we are — if you conduct 
me safely it will be a sign that we may go on." 

" Pompadour, you must take back Monsieur d'Harmental," 
said the duchess. 

"Willingly," said the marquis. "It is a long time since 
we met, and we have a hundred things to say to each 
other." 

" Cannot I take leave of my sprightly bat ? " asked D'Har- 
mental; "for I vdo not forget that it is to her I owe the 
happiness of having offered my services to your Highness." 

" De Launay," cried the duchess, conducting the Prince 
of Cellamare to the door, "De Launay, here is Monsieiu* le 
Chevalier d'Harmental, who says you are the greatest sorceress 
he has ever known." 

" Well I " said she who has left us such charming memoirs, 
under the uame of Madame de Sta^l, " do you believe in my 
prophecies now, Monsieur de Chevalier ? " 

" I believe, because I hope," replied the chevalier. " But 
now that I know the fairy that sent you, it is not your pre- 
dictions that astonish me the most. How were you so well 
informed about the past, and, above all, of the present ? " 

" Well, De Launay, be kind, and do not torment the cheva- 
lier any longer, or he will believe us to be two witches, and be 
afraid of us." 

" Was there not one of your friends, chevalier," asked De 



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46 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

Launaj, " who left you this morning in the Bois de Boulogne 
to come and say adieu to us ? '' 

« Valef ! It is Valef I '' cried D'Harmental. " I understand 
now." 

"In the place of OEdipus you would have been devoured 
ten times over by the Sphinx." 

" But the mathematics ; but the anatomy ; but Virgil ? '' 
replied D'Harmental. 

" Do you not know, chevalier," said Malezieux, mixing in 
the conversation, " that we never call her anything here but 
our * savante ? ' with the exception of Chaulieu, however, who 
calls her his flirt and his coquette; but all as a poetical 
license. We let her loose the other day on Du Vemay, our 
doctor, and she beat him at anatomy." 

"And," said the Marquis de Pompadour, taking D'Har- 
mental' s arm to lead him away, "the good man in his dis- 
appointment declared that there was no other girl in France 
who understood the human frame so well." 

« Ah ! " said the Abb^ Brigand, folding his papers, " here 
is the first savant on record who has been known to make a 
bon-mot. It is true that he did not intend it" 

And D'Harmental and Pompadour, having taken leave of 
the duchess, retired laughing, followed by the Abb^ Brigand, 
who reckoned on them to drive him home. 

" Well," said Madame du Maine, addressing the Cardinal 
de Polignac, " does your Eminence still find it such a terrible 
thing to conspire ? " 

" Madame," replied the cardinal, who could not understand 
that any one could laugh when their head was in danger, 
"I will ask you the same question when we are all in the 
Bastile." 

And he went away with the good chancellor, deploring the 
ill-luck which had thrown him into such a rash enterprise. 

The duchess looked after him with a contempt which she 
could not disguise ; then, when she was alone with De Launay : 

" My dear Sophy," said she, " let us put out our lantern, 
for I think we have found a man." 



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ALBERONI. 47 

CHAPTER VII. 

ALBEBONI. 

When D'Harmental awoke, it seemed as if all had been a 
dream. Events had, during the last thirty-six hours, suc- 
ceeded each other with such rapidity that he had been carried 
away, as by a whirlpool, without knowing where he was going. 
Now for the first time he had leisure to reflect on the past and 
the future. 

These were times in which every one conspired more or 
less. We know the natural bent of the mind in such a case. 
The first feeling we experience, after having made an engage- 
ment in a moment of exaltation, is one almost of regret for 
having been so forward. Little by little we become familiar- 
ized with the idea of the dangers we are running. Imagina- 
tion removes them from our sight, and presents instead the 
ambitions we may realize. Pride soon becomes mingled with 
it, as we think that we have become a secret power in the 
State. We walk along proudly, with head erect, passing con- 
temptuously those who lead an ordinary life ; we cradle our- 
selves in our hopes, and wake one morning conquering or 
conquered ; carried on the shoulders of the people, or broken 
by the wheels of that machine called the government. 

Thus it was with D'Harmental. After a few moments' 
reflection, he saw things under the same aspect as he had 
done the day before, and congratulated himself upon having 
taken the highest place among such people as the Montmo- 
rencies and the Polignacs. His family had transmitted to 
him much of that adventurous chivalry so much in voguo 
under Louis XIII., and which Richelieu with his scaffolds, 
and Louis XIV. with his antechambers, had not quite been 
able to destroy. There was something romantic in enlisting 
himself, a young man, under the banners of a woman, and 
that woman a granddaughter of the great Cond^. 

D'Harmental lost no time in preparing to keep the promises 
he had made, for he felt that the eyes of all the conspirators 
were upon him, and that on his courage and prudence depended 
the destinies of two kingdoms and the politics of the world. 
At this moment the Regent was the keystone of the arch of 
the European edifice; and France was beginning to take, if 



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48 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

not by arms, at least by diplomacy, that influence which she 
had unfortunately not always preserved. Placed at the centre 
of the triangle formed by the three great Powers, with eyes 
fixed on Germany, one arm extended towards England, and 
the other towards Spain, ready to turn on either of these 
three States that should not treat her according to her dignity, 
she had assumed, under the Due d'Orleans, an attitude of calm 
strength which she had never had under Louis XIV. 

This arose from the division of interests consequent on the 
usurpation of William of Orange, and the accession of Philip 
V. to the throne of Spain. Faithful to his old hatred against 
the stadtholder, who had refused him his daughter, Louis 
XIV. had constantly advanced the pretensions of James II., 
and, after his death, of the Chevalier de St. George. Faithful 
to his compact with Philip V. he had constantly aided his 
grandson against the emperor with men and money; and, 
weakened by this double war, he had been reduced to the 
shameful treaty of Utrecht ; but at the death of the old King 
all was changed, and the Regent had adopted a very different 
line of conduct. The treaty of Utrecht was only a truce, 
which had been broken from the moment when England and 
Holland did not pursue common interests with those of 
France. 

In consequence, the Eegent had first of all held out his 
hand to George I., and the treaty of the triple alliance had 
been signed at La Haye, by Dubois, in the name of France ; 
by General Cadogan, for England ; and by the pensioner, 
Heinsiens, for Holland. This was a great step towards the 
pacification of Europe, but the interests of Austria and Spain 
were still in suspense. Charles VI. would not recognize 
Philip V. as King of Spain ; and Philip V., on his part, would 
not renounce his rights over those provinces of the Spanish 
empire which the treaty of Utrecht had given to the emperor. 

It was in the hopes of bringing these things about that 
the Regent had sent Dubois to London, where he was pur- 
suing the treaty of the quadruple alliance with as much 
ardor as he had that of La Haye. This treaty would have 
neutralized the pretensions of the State not approved by the 
four powers. This was what was feared by Philip V. — or 
rather the Cardinal d'Alberoni. 

It was not thus with Alberoni ; his was one of those extraor- 
dinary fortunes which one sees, always with new astonish- 



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ALBERONL 49 

ment, spring up around the tlirone; one of those caprices 
of destiny which chance raises and destroys ; like a gigantic 
waterspout, which advances on the ocean, threatening to 
annihilate everything, but which is dispersed by a stone 
thrown from the hand of a sailor; or an avalanche, which 
threatens to swallow towns, and fill up valleys, because a 
bird in its flight has detached a flake of snow on the summit 
of the mountain. 

Alberoni was bom in a gardener's cottage, and as a child he 
was the bell-ringer. When still a young man he exchanged 
his smock-frock for a surplice, but was of a merry and jesting 
disposition. The Duke of Parma heard him laugh one day 
so gaily that the poor duke, who did not laugh every day, 
asked who it was that was so merry, and had him called. 
Alberoni related to him some grotesque adventure. His High- 
ness laughed heartily ; and finding that it was pleasant to laugh 
sometimes, attached him to his person. The duke soon found 
that he had mind, and fancied that that mind was not incapa- 
ble of business. 

It was at this time that the poor Bishop of Parma came 
back, deeply mortified at his reception by the generalissimo 
of the French army. The susceptibility of this envoy might 
compromise the grave interests which his Highness had to 
discuss with France. His Highness judged that Alberoni was 
the man to be humiliated by nothing, and he sent the abb^ 
to finish the negotiation which the bishop had left unfin- 
ished. M. de Vendome, who had not put himself out for a 
bishop, did not do so for an abb^, and received the second 
ambassador as he had the first; but, instead of follow- 
ing the example of his predecessor, he found in M. de 
Vendome's own situation so much subject for merry jests 
and strange praises that the affair was finished at once, 
and he came back to the duke with everything arranged to 
his desire. 

This was a reason for the duke to employ him a second 
time. This time Vendome was just going to sit down to 
table, and Alberoni, instead of beginning about business, asked 
if he would taste two dishes of his cooking, went into the 
kitchen, and came back, a " soupe au fromage '' in one hand, 
and macaroni in the other. De Vendome found the soup so 
good that he asked Alberoni to take some with him at his 
own table. At dessert Alberoni introduced his business, 



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60 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

and profiting by the good humor of Vendome he twisted 
him round his finger. 

His Highness was astonished. The greatest genius he had 
met with had never done so much. The next time it was 
M. de Veudome who asked the Duke of Parma if he had 
nothing else to negotiate with him. Alberoni found means of 
persuading his sovereign that he would be more useful to him 
near Vendome than elsewhere, and he persuaded Vendome 
that he could not exist without ^' soupe au fromage^^ and 
macaroni. 

M. de Vendome attached him to his service, allowed him 
to interfere in his most secret affairs, and made him his chief 
secretary. At this time Vendome left for Spain. Alberoni 
put himself in communication with Madame des Ursins ; and 
when Vendome died she gave him, near her, the same post 
he had occupied near the deceased. 

This was another step. The Princesse des Ursins began to 
get old, an unpardonable crime in the eyes of Philip V. Shfe 
resolved to place a young woman near the King, through 
whom she might continue to reign over him. Alberoni pro- 
posed the daughter of his old master, whom he represented as 
a child, without character, and without will, who would claim 
nothing of royalty but the name. The princess was taken by 
this promise. The marriage was decided on, and the young 
princess left Italy for Spain. 

Her first act of authority was to arrest the Princesse des 
Ursins, who had come to meet her in a court dress, and to 
send her back, as she was, with her neck uncovered, in a bitter 
frost, in a carriage of which the guard had broken the window 
with his elbow, first to Burgos, and then to France, where she 
arrived, after having been obliged to borrow fifty pistoles from 
her servants. After his first interview with Elizabeth Famese, 
the King announced to Alberoni that he was prime minister. 
From that day, thanks to the young Queen, who owed him 
everything, the ex-ringer of bells exercised an unlimited 
empire over Philip V. 

Now this is what Alberoni pictured to himself, having 
always prevented Philip V. from recognizing the peace of 
Utrecht. If the conspiracy succeeded — if D'Harmental car- 
ried off the Due d'Orleans, and took him to the citadel of 
Toledo, or the fortress of Saragossa — Alberoni would get 
Monsieur du Maine recognized as Regent, would withdraw 



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A PACHA WE HAVE MET BEFORE. 51 

France from the quadruple alliance, throw the Chevalier de 
St. George with the fleet on the English coast, and set 
Prussia, Sweden, and Russia, with whom he had a treaty of 
alliance, at variance with Holland. The empire would then 
profit by their dispute to retake ITaples and Sicily ; would 
assure Tuscany to the second son of the King of Spain ; 
would reunite the Catholic Netherlands to France, give Sar- 
dinia to the Dukes of Savoy, Commachio to the pope, and 
Mantua to the Venetians. He would make himself the soul 
of the great league of the south against the north; and if 
Louis XV. died would crown Philip V. king of half the 
world. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

A PACHA WE HAVE MET BEFORE. 

All these things were now in the hands of a young man of 
twenty-six years of age ; and it was not astonishing that he 
should be, at first, frightened at the responsibility which 
weighed upon him. 

As he was still deep in thought, the Abb^ Brigand entered. 
He had already found a lodging for the chevalier at No. 5, 
Rue du Temps-Perdu; a small furnished room, suitable to 
a young man who came to seek his fortune in Paris. He 
brought him also two thousand pistoles from the Prince of 
Cellamare. 

D'Harmental wished to refuse them, for it seemed as if he 
would be no longer acting according to conscience and devo- 
tion ; but Brigand explained to him that in such an enterprise 
there are susceptibilities to conquer, and accomplices to pay ; 
and that besides, if the affair succeeded, he would have to 
set out instantly for Spain, and perhaps make his way by 
force of gold. Brigand carried away a complete suit of the 
chevalier's as a pattern for a fresh one suitable for a clerk in 
an office. The Abb^ Brigand was a useful man. 

D'Harmental passed the rest of the day in preparing for 
his pretended journey, and removed, in case of accident, 
every letter which might compromise a friend; then went 
towards the Rue St. Honor^, where — thanks to La Nor- 
mande — he hoped to have news of Captain Roquefinette. 



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62 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

In fact, from the moment that a lieutenant for his enterprise 
had been spoken of, he had thought of this man, who had 
given him, as his second, a proof of his careless courage. 
He had instantly recognized in him one of those adventurers 
always ready to sell their blood for a good price, and who, in 
time of peace, when their swords are useless to the State, 
place them at the service of individuals. 

On becoming a conspirator one always becomes super- 
stitious, and D'Harmental fancied that it was an intervention 
of Providence which had introduced him to Eoquefinette. 
The chevalier, without being a regular customer, went occa- 
sionally to the tavern of La Fillon. It was quite fashionable 
at that time to go and drink at her house. D'Harmental was 
to her neither her son, a name which she gave to all her 
^^ habitues ^^^ nor her gossip, a word which she reserved for 
the Abb^ Dubois, but simply Monsieur le Chevalier ; a mark 
of respect which would have been considered rather a humiliar 
tion by most of the young men of fashion. La Fillon was 
much astonished when D'Harmental asked to see one of her 
servants, called La Normande. 

" Oh, mon Dieu I Monsieur le Chevalier ! " said she, " I am 
really distressed; but La Normande is waiting at a dinner 
which will last till to-morrow evening." 

" Plague ! what a dinner ! " 

"What is to be done?" replied La Fillon. ."It is a 
caprice of an old friend of the house. He will not be 
waited on by any one but her, and I cannot refuse him that 
satisfaction." 

" When he has money, I suppose ? " 

" You are mistaken. I give him credit up to a certain sum. 
It is a weakness, but one cannot help being grateful. He 
started me in the world, such as you see me, monsieur, — I, 
who have had in my house the best people in Paris, including 
the Regent. I was only the daughter of a poor chair-bearer. 
Oh ! I am not like the greater part of your beautiful duchesses, 
who deny their origin ; nor like two-thirds of your dukes and 
peers, who fabricate genealogies for themselves. No ! what I 
am I owe to my own merit, and I am proud of it." 

"Then," said the chevalier, who was not particularly 
interested by La Fillon's history, " you say that La Normande 
will not have finished with this dinner till to-morrow even- 
ing?" 



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A PACHA WE HAVE MET BEFORE. 53 

"The jolly old captain never stays less time than that at 
table when once he is there." 

" But, my dear presidente " (this was a name sometimes 
given to La Fillon, as a certain quid pro quo for the presi- 
dente, who had the same name as herself), << do you think, by 
chance, your captain may be my captain ? " 

« What is yours called ? " 

" Captain Eoquefinette." 

" It is the same/' 

"He is here?-' 

" In person." 

" Well, he is just the man I want ; and I only asked for La 
Normande to get his address." 

" Then all is right," said the presidente. 

" Have the kindness to send for him." 

" Oh ! he would not come down for the Eegent himself. If 
you want to see him you must go up." 

"Where?" 

" At Ko. 2, where you supped the other evening with the 
Baron de Valef. Oh! when he has money, nothing is too 
good for him. Although he is but a captain, he has the heart 
of a king." 

" Better and better," said D'Harmental, mounting the stair- 
case, without being deterred by the recollection of the mis- 
adventure which had happened to him in that room ; " that is 
exactly what I want." 

If D'Harmental had not known the room in question, the 
voice of the captain would soon have served him for a guide. 

" Now, my little loves," said he, " the third and last verse, 
and together in the chorus." Then he began, singing in a 
magnificent bass voice, 

" Oh, great St. Roch, our guardian true." 

Four or five girls took up the chorus — 

** Come, come to us ; thy help we need I *' 

" That 'b better," said the captain ; " now let us have the 
'Battle of Malplaquet.' " 

" No, no," said a voice ; " I have had enough of your battle." 

'< What I enough of it — a battle I was at myself ? " 

" That is nothing to me. I like a romance better than all 



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54 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

your wicked battle-songs, full of oaths." And slie began to 
sing ** Linval loved Ars^ne " — 

" Silence ! " said the captain. "Am I not master here ? As 
long as I have any money I will be served as I like. When I 
have no more, that will be another thing ; then you may sing 
what you like ; I shall have nothing to say to it." 

It appeared that the servants of the cabaret thought it 
beneath the dignity of their sex to subscribe to such a preten- 
sion, for there was such a noise that lyHarmental thought it 
best to announce himself. 

"Pull the bobbin, and the latch will go up," said the 
captain. 

D'Harmental followed the instruction, which was given him 
in the words of Little Red Riding-hood ; and, having entered, 
saw the captain lying on a couch before the remains of an 
ample dinner, leaning on a cushion, a woman's shawl over his 
shoulders, a great pipe in his mouUi, and a cloth rolled round 
his head like a turban. Three or four servants were standing 
round him with napkins in their hands. On a chair near him 
was placed his coat, on which was to be seen a new shoulder- 
knot, his hat with a new lace, and the famous sword which 
had furnished Ravanne with the facetious comparison to his 
mother^s spit. 

" What! is it you ? " cried the captain. " You find me like 
Monsieur de Bonneval — in my seraglio, and surrounded by 
my slaves. You do not know Monsieur de Bonneval, ladies ; 
he is a pacha of three tails, who, like me, could not bear 
romances, but who understood how to live. Heaven preserve 
me from such a fate as his ! " 

" Yes, it is I, captain," said D'Harmental, unable to prevent 
laughing at the grotesque group which presented itself. " I 
see you did not give me a false address, and I congratulate 
you on your veracity." 

"Welcome, chevalier," said the captain. "Ladies, I beg 
you to serve monsieur with the grace which distinguishes you, 
and to sing him whatever songs he likes. Sit down, chevalier, 
and eat and drink as if you were at home, particularly as it is 
your horse we are eating and drinking. He is already more 
than half gone, poor animal, but the remains are good." 

" Thank you, captain, I have just dined ; and I have only 
one word to say to you, if you will permit it." 

"No, pardieul I do not permit it," said the captain, 



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THE GARRET. 55 

"unless it is about another engagement — that would come 
before everything. La Normande, give me my sword.'^ 

" No, captain ; it is on business," interrupted D'Harmental. 

" Oh ! if it is on business I am your humble servant ; but 
I am a greater tyrant than the tyrants of Thebes or Corinth 
— Ai-chias, Pelopidas, Leonidas, or any other that ends in ' as/ 
who put off business till to-morrow. I have enough money 
to last till to-morrow evening ; then, after to-morrow, business." 

" But at least after to-morrow, captain, I may count upon 
you ? " 

" For life or death, chevalier." 

" I believe that the adjournment is prudent." 

" Prudentissimo ! " said the captain. "Athenais, light my 
pipe. La Normande, pour me out something to drink." 

" The day after to-morrow, then, captain ? " 

« Yes ; where shall I find you ? V 

" Listen," replied D'Harmental, speaking so as to be heard 
by no one but him. " Walk, from ten to eleven o'clock in the 
morning, in the Rue du Temps-Perdu. Look up ; you will be 
called from somewhere, and you must mount till you meet 
some one you know. A good breakfast will await you." 

"All right, chevalier," replied the captain ; " from ten to 
eleven in the morning. Excuse me if I do not conduct you 
to the door, but you know it is not the custom with Turks." 

The chevalier made a sign with his hand that he dispensed 
with this formality, and descended the staircase. He was 
only on the fourth step when he heard the captain begin the 
famous song of the ** Dragoons of Malplaquet," which had 
perhaps caused as much blood to be shed in duels as there had 
been on that famous battlefield. 



CHAPTER IX. 



THE 6ABBET. 



The next day the Abb^ Brigand visited the chevalier at the 
same hour as before. He was a punctual man. He brought 
with him three things particularly useful to the chevalier: 
clothes, a passport, and the report of the Prince of Cella- 
m are's police respecting what the Regent was going to do on 
the present day, March 24, 1718 The clothes were simple, 



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66 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

as became the cadet of a bourgeois family come to seek his 
fortune in Paris. The chevalier tried them on, and, thanks to 
his own good looks, found that they became him admirably. 

The abb^ shook his head. He would have preferred that 
the chevalier should not have looked quite so well ; but this 
was an irreparable misfortune. The passport was in the name 
of Signior Diego, steward of the noble house of Oropesa, who 
had a commission to bring back to Spain a sort of maniac, a 
bastard of the said house, whose mania was to believe himself 
Regent of France. This was a precaution taken to meet any- 
thing that the Due d' Orleans might call out from the bottom 
of the carriage ; and, as the passport was according to rule, 
signed by the Prince de Cellamare, and " vis^d " by Monsieur 
Voyer d'Argenson, there was no reason why the Regent, once 
in the carriage, should not arrive safely at Pampeluna, when 
all would be done. 

The signature of Monsieur Voyer d'Argenson was imitated 
with a truth which did honor to the caligraphers of the Prince 
de Cellamare. As to the report, it was a chef-d'ceuvre of 
clearness ; and we insert it word for word, to give an idea of 
the Regent's life, and of the manner in which the Spanish 
ambassador's police was conducted. It was dated two o'clock 
in the morning. 

" To-day the Regent will rise late. There has been a sup- 
per in his private rooms ; Madame d'Aveme was there for the 
first time instead of Madame de Parab^re. The other women 
were the Duchesse de Palaris, and Saseri, maid of honor to 
madame. The men were the Marquis de Broglie, the Count 
de Noc^, the Marquis de Canillac, the Due de Brancas, and 
the Chevalier de Simiane. As to the Marquis de Lafare and 
Monsieur de Fargy, they were detained in bed by an illness, 
of which the cause is unknown. At noon there will be a 
council. The Regent will communicate to the Dues du Maine 
and de Guiche the project of the treaty of the quadruple 
alliance, which the Abb^ Dubois has sent him, announcing his 
return in three or four days. 

" The rest of the day is given entirely to paternity. The 
day before yesterday the Regent married his daughter by La 
Desmarets, who was brought up by the nuns of St. Denis. 
She dines with her husband at the Palais Royal, and, after 
dinner, the Regent takes her to the opera, to the box of 
Madame Charlotte de Bavifere. La Desmarets, who has not 



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THE GARRET. 67 

seen her daughter for six years, is told that if she wishes to 
see her she can come to the theatre. The Eegent, in spite of 
h.is caprice for Madame d'Averne, still pays court to Madame 
de Sabran, who piques herself on her fidelity — not to her 
husband but to the Due de Eichelieu. To advance his affairs 
the Eegent has appointed Monsieur de Sabran his mattre- 
d'koteL" 

" I hope that is business well done," said the Abb^ Brigand. 

" Yes, my dear abbe," replied D'Harmental ; " but if the 
Eegent does not give us greater opportunities than that for 
executing our enterprise it will not be easy for us to take him 
to Spain." 

" Patience," said Brigand ; *^ if there had been an oppor- 
tunity to-day you would not have been able to profit by it." 

" No ; you are right." 

" Then you see that what God does is well done. He has 
left us this day ; let us profit by it to move." 

This was neither a long nor difficult business. D'Harmental 
took his treasure, some books, and the packet which contained 
his wardrobe, and drove to the abba's house. Then he sent 
away his carriage, saying he should go into the country in 
the evening, and would be away ten or twelve days. Then, 
having changed his elegant clothes for those that the abb^ had 
brought him, he went to take possession of his new lodging. 
It was a room, or rather an attic, with a closet, on the fourth 
story, at No. 5, Eue du Temps-Perdu. The proprietor of the 
house was an acquaintance of the Abb^ Brigand's ; therefore, 
thanks to his recommendation, they had gone to some expense 
for the young provincial. He found beautifully white cur- 
tains, very fine linen, and a well-furnished library ; so he saw 
at once that, if not so well off as in his own apartments, he 
should be tolerably comfortable. 

Madame Denis (this was the name of the abba's friend) was 
waiting to do the honors of the room to her future lodger. 
She boasted to him of its convenience, and promised him that 
there would be no noise to disturb him from his work. To all 
which he replied in such a modest manner that on going down 
to the first floor, where she lived, Madame Denis particularly 
recommended him to the care of the porter and his wife. This 
young man, though in appearance he could certainly compete 
with the proudest seigneurs of the court, seemed to her far 
from having the bold and free manners which the young men 



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68 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

of the time affected. 'T is true that the Abb^ Brigaud, in the 
name of his pupil's family, had paid her a quarter in advance. 

A minute after the abb^ went down to Madame Denis' room 
and completed her good opinion of his young prot^g^ by 
telling her that he received absolutely nobody but himself and 
an old friend of his father's. The latter, in spite of brusque 
manners, which he had acquired in the field, was a highly 
respectable gentleman. 

D'Harmental used this precaution for fear the apparition of 
the captain might frighten Madame Denis if she happened to 
meet him. When he was alone the chevalier, who had already 
taken the inventory of his own room, resolved to take that of 
the neighborhood. He was soon able to convince himself of 
the truth of what Madame Denis had said about the quietness 
of the street, for it was not more than ten or twelve feet wide ; 
but this was to him a recommendation, for he calculated that 
if pursued he might, by means of a plank passed from one 
window to that opposite, escape to the other side of the street. 
It was, therefore, important to establish amicable relations 
with his opposite neighbors. 

Unfortunately, they did not seem much disposed to socia- 
bility ; for not only were the windows hermetically sealed, as 
the time of year demanded, but the curtains behind them were 
so closely drawn that there was not the smallest opening 
through which he could look. More favored than that of 
Madame Denis, the house opposite had a fifth story, or rather 
a terrace. An attic room just above the window so carefully 
closed opened on this terrace. It was probably the residence 
of a gardener, for he had succeeded, by means of patience and 
labor, in transforming this terrace into a garden, containing, 
in some twelve feet square, a fountain, a grotto, and an arbor. 

It is true- that the fountain only played by means of a supe- 
rior reservoir, which was fed in winter by the rain, and in 
summer by what he himself poured into it. It is true that 
the grotto, ornamented with shell-work, and surrounded by a 
wooden fortress, appeared fit only to shelter an individual of 
the canine race. It is true that the arbor, entirely stripped of 
its leaves, appeared for the time fit only for an immense 
poultry-cage. As there was nothing to be seen but a monoto- 
nous series of roofs and chimneys, D'Harmental closed his 
window, sat down in an arm-chair, put his feet on the hobs, 
took up a volume by the Abbd Chaulieu, and began to read 



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THE GARRET. 59 

the verses addressed to Mademoiselle de Launay, which had a 
double interest for him, since he knew the heroine. 

The result of this reading was that the chevalier, while 
smiling at the octogenarian love of the good abb^, discovered 
that he, less fortunate, had his heart perfectly unoccupied. 
For a short time he had thought he had loved Madame 
d'Averne, and had been loved by her ; but on her part this 
deep affection did not withstand the offer of some jewels from 
the Regent, and the vanity of pleasing him. 

Before this infidelity had occurred the chevalier thought 
that it would have driven him to despair. It had occurred, 
and he had fought, because at that time men fought about 
everything which arose, probably from duelling being so 
strictly forbidden. Then he began to perceive how small a 
place this love had held in his heart. A real despair would 
not have allowed him to seek amusement at the bal-masque, 
in which case the exciting events of the last few days would 
not have happened. 

The result of this was that the chevalier remained con- 
vinced that he was incapable of a deep love, and that he was 
only destined for those charming wickednesses so much in 
vogue. He got up, and began to walk up and down his room ; 
whilst thus employed he perceived that the window opposite 
was now wide open. He stopped mechanically, drew back his 
curtain, and began to investigate the room thus exposed. 

It was to all appearance occupied by a woman. Near the 
window, on which a charming little Italian greyhound rested 
her delicate paws, was an embroidery frame. Opposite the 
window was an open harpsichord between two music stands, 
some crayon drawings, framed in black wood with a gold bead, 
were hung on the walls, which were covered with a Persian 
paper. Curtains of Indian chintz, of the same pattern as the 
paper, hung behind the muslin curtains. Through a second 
window, half open, he could see the curtains of a recess which 
probably contained a bed. The rest of the furniture was 
perfectly simple, but almost elegant, which was due, evidently, 
not to the fortune, but to the taste of the modest inhabitant. 

An old woman was sweeping, dusting, and arranging the 
room, profiting by the absence of its mistress to do this house- 
hold work, for there was no one else to be seen in the room, 
and yet it was clear it was not she who inhabited it. All at 
once the head of the greyhound — whose great eyes had been 



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60 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL, 

wandering till then, with the aristocratic indifference charac- 
teristic of that animal — became animated. She leaned her 
head over into the street ; then, with a miraculous lightness 
and address, jumped on to the window-sill, pricking up her 
long ears and raising one of her paws. The chevalier under- 
stood by these signs that the tenant of the little room was 
approaching. He opened his window directly ; unfortunately 
it was already too late, the street was solitary. 

At the same moment the greyhound leaped from the window 
into the room, and ran to the door. D'Harmental concluded 
that the young lady was mounting the stairs. In order to see 
her at his ease, he threw himself back and hid behind the 
curtain, but the old woman came to the window and closed it 
The chevalier did not expect this denouement. There was 
nothing for him but to close his window also, and to come 
back and put his feet on the hobs. This was not amusing, 
and the chevalier began to feel how solitary he should be in 
this retreat He remembered that formerly he also used to 
play and draw, and he thought that if he had the smallest 
spinet and some chalks he could bear it with patience. 

He rang for the porter and asked where he could procure 
these things. The porter replied that every increase of fur- 
niture must be at his own expense. That if he wished for a 
harpsichord he must hire it, and that as to pencils he could 
get them at the shop at the corner of the Rue de Cl^ry. 

I^Harmental gave a double louis to the porter, telling him 
that in half an hour he wished to have a spinet and some 
pencils. The double louis was an argument of which he had 
before found the advantage; reproaching himself, however, 
with having used it this time with a carelessness which gave 
the lie to his apparent position, he recalled the porter, and 
told him that he expected for his double louis to have, not 
only paper and pencils, but a month's hire of his instrument 

The porter replied that, as he would speak as if it were for 
himself, the thing was possible ; but that he must certainly 
pay the carriage. D'Harmental consented, and half an hour 
afterwards was in possession of the desired objects. Such a 
wonderful place is Paris for every enchanter with a golden 
wand. The porter, when he went down, told his wife that if 
the new lodger was not more careful of his money he would 
ruin his family, and showed her two crowns of six francs 
which he had saved out of the double louis. The woman took 



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A CITIZEN OF THE RUE DU TEMPS-PERDU. 61 

the two crowns from the hands of her husband, calling him a 
drunkard, and put them into a little bag, hidden under a heap 
of old clothes, deploring the misfortune of fathers and 
mothers who bleed themselves to death for such good-for- 
nothings. 

Such was, at least, the funeral oration pronounced over the 
chevalier's double louis. 



CHAPTER X 

A CITIZEN OP THB BUB DU TEMPS-PERDU. 

During this time D'Harmental was seated before the spinet, 
playing his best. The shopkeeper had had a sort of con- 
science and had sent him an instrument nearly in tune, so 
that the chevalier began to perceive that he was doing won- 
ders, and almost believed he was born with a genius for music, 
which had only required such a circumstance to develop itself. 
Doubtless there was some truth in this, for in the middle of a 
brilliant shake he saw, from the other side of the street, five 
little fingers delicately raising the curtain to see from whence 
this unaccustomed harmony proceeded. Unfortunately, at the 
sight of these fingers the chevalier forgot his music, and 
turned round quickly on the stool in hopes of seeing a face 
behind the hand. 

This ill-judged manoeuvre ruined him. The mistress of the 
little room, surprised in the act of curiosity, let the curtain 
fall. D'Harmental, wounded by this prudery, closed his win- 
dow. The evening passed in reading, drawing, and playing. 
The chevalier could not have believed that there were so 
many minutes in an hour, or so many hours in a day. At ten 
o'clock in the evening he rang for the porter, to give orders 
for the next day ; but no one answered ; he had been in bed 
a long time, and D'Harmental learned that there were people 
who went to bed about the time he ordered his carriage to pay 
visits. 

This set him thinking of the strange manners of that 
unfortunate class of society who do not know the opera, who 
do not go to supper parties, and who sleep all night and are 
awake all day. He thought you must come to the Eue du 
Temps-Perdu to see such things, and promised himself to 



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62 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

amuse his friends with an account of this singularity. He 
was glad to see also that his neighbor watched like himself. 
This showed in her a mind superior to that of the vulgar 
inhabitants of the Rue du Temps-Perdu. IVHarmental 
believed that people only watched because they did not wish 
to sleep, or because they wanted to be amused. He forgot all 
those who do so because they arc obliged. At midnight the 
light in the opposite windows was extinguished ; I^Harmental 
also went to his bed. The next day the Abb^ Brigand 
appeared at eight o'clock. He brought D'Harmental the 
second report of secret police. It was in these terms : 

'* Three o'clock, a.m. 

« In consequence of the regular life which he led yesterday, 
the Regent has given orders to be called at nine. 

" He will receive some appointed persons at that time. 

" From ten to twelve there will be a public audience. 

" From twelve till one the Regent will be engaged with La 
Vrillifere and Leblanc. 

" From one to two he will open letters with Torcy. 

"At half -past two there will be a council, and he will pay 
the King a visit. 

"At three o'clock he will go to the tennis-court in the Rue 
du Seine, to sustain, with Brancas and Canillac, a challenge 
against the Due de Richelieu, the Marquis de Broglie, and the 
Comte de Gac^. 

"At six he will go to supper at the Luxembourg with the 
Duchesse de Berry, and will pass the evening there. 

"From there he will come back, without guards, to the 
Palais Royal, unless the Duchesse de Berry gives him an 
escort from hers." 

"Without guards, my dear abb^! what do you think of 
that ? " said lyHarmental, beginning to dress ; " does it not 
make your mouth water ? '' 

" Without guards, yes," replied the abb^ ; " but with foot- 
men, outriders, a coachman — all people who do not fight 
much, it is true, but who cry very loud. Oh I patience, 
patience, my young friend. You are in a great hurry to be a 
grandee of Spain." 

" No, my dear abb^, but I am in a hurry to give up living 
in an attic where I lack everything, and where I am obliged 



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A CITIZEN OF THE RUE DU TEMPS-PERDU. G3 

to dress myself alone, as you see. Do you think it is nothing 
to go to bed at ten o'clock', and dress in the morning without a 
valet ? " 

" Yes, but you have music," replied the abb^. 

" Ah ! indeed," replied D'Harmental. " Abbe, open my 
window, I beg, that they may see I receive good company. 
That will do me honor with my neighbors. " 

" Ho ! ho ! " said the abb^, doing what D'Harmental asked ; 
« that is not bad at all." 

" How, not bad ? " replied D'Harmental ; " it is very good, 
on the contrary. It is from Armida : the devil take me if I 
expected to find that in the fourth story of a house in the 
Rue du Temps-Perdu." 

" Chevalier, I predict," said the abb^, " that, if the singer 
be young and pretty, in a week there will be as much trouble 
to get you away as there is now to keep you here." 

" My dear abb^," said D'Harmental, " if your police were 
as good as those of the Prince de Cellamare, you would know 
that I am cured of love for a long time, and here is the proof. 
Do not think I pass my days in sighing. I beg when you 
go down you will send me something like a pat^ and a dozen 
bottles of good wine. I trust to you. I know you are a 
connoisseur; besides, sent by you, it will seem like a guar- 
dian's attention. Bought by me, it would seem like a pupil's 
debauch ; and I have my provincial reputation to keep up 
with Madame Denis." 

" That is true. I do not ask you what it is for, but I will 
send it to you." 

« And you are right, my dear abb^. It is all for the good 
of the cause." 

" In an hour the pat^ and the wine will be here." 

" When shall I see you again ? " 

" To-morrow, probably." 

" Adieu, then, till to-morrow." 

" You send me away." 

" I am expecting somebody." 

" All for the good of the cause ? " 

" I answer you, go, and may God preserve you." 

" Stay, and may the devil not get hold of you. Remember 
that it was a woman who got us turned out of our terrestrial 
paradise. Defy women." 



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64 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

" Amen," said the chevalier, making a parting sign with his 
hand to the Abb^ Brigand. 

Indeed, as the abbe had observed, D'Harmental was in a 
hnrry to see him go. The great love for music^ which the 
chevalier had discovered only the day before, had progressed 
so rapidly that he did not wish his attention called away from 
what he had just heard. The little which that horrible win- 
dow allowed him to hear, and which was more of the instru- 
ment than of the voice, showed that his neighbor was an 
excellent musician. The playing was skilful, the voice sweet 
and sustained, and had, in its high notes and deep vibrations, 
something which awoke an answer in the heart of the lis- 
tener. At last, after a very difficult and perfectly-executed 
passage, D'Harmental could not help clapping his hands and 
crying bravo ! As bad luck would have it, this triumph, to 
which she had not been accustomed, instead of encouraging 
the musician, frightened her so much that voice and harpsi- 
chord stopped at the same instant, and silence immediately 
succeeded to the melody for which the chevalier had so 
imprudently manifested his -enthusiasm. 

In exchange, he saw the door of the room above (which 
we have said led on to the terrace) open, and a hand was 
stretched out, evidently to ascertain what kind of weather it 
was. The answer of the weather seemed reassuring, for the 
hand was almost directly followed by a head covered by a 
little chintz cap, tied on the forehead by a violet ribbon ; and 
the head was only a few instants in advance of a neck and 
shoulders clothed in a kind of dressing-gown of the same 
stuff as the cap. This was not quite enough to enable the 
chevalier to decide to which sex the individual, who seemed 
so cautious about exposing himself to the morning air, be- 
longed. At last, a sort of sunbeam having slipped out 
between two clouds, the timid inhabitant of the terrace 
appeared to be encouraged to come out altogether. D'Har- 
mental then saw, by his black velvet knee-breeches, and by 
his silk stockings, that the personage who had just entered 
on the scene was of the masculine gender. 

It was the gardener of whom we spoke. The bad weather 
of the preceding days had, without doubt, deprived him of 
his morning walk, and had prevented him from giving his 
garden his ordinary attention, for he began to walk round it 
with a visible fear of finding some accident produced by the 



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A CITIZEN OF THE RUE DU TEMPS-PERDU. 65 

wind or rain ; but, after a careful inspection of the fountain, 
the grotto, and the arbor, which were its three principal 
ornaments, the excellent face of the gardener was lighted by 
a ray of joy, as the weather was by the ray of sun. He per- 
ceived, not only that everything was in its place, but that the 
reservoir was full to overflowing. He thought he might 
indulge in playing his fountains, a treat which, ordinarily, fol- 
lowing the example of Louis XTV., he only allowed himself 
on Sundays. He turned the cock, and the jet raised itself 
majestically to the height of four or five feet. The good 
man was so delighted that he began to sing the burden of an 
old pastoral song which D'Harmental had heard when he was 
a baby, and, while repeating : 

** Let me go 
And let me play 
Beneath the hazel-tree." 

he ran to the window, and called aloud, " Bathilde ! Bathilde ! " 
The chevalier understood that there was a communication 
between the rooms on the third and fourth stories, and some 
relation between the gardener and the musician, and thought 
that perhaps if he remained at the window she would not 
come on to the terrace ; therefore he closed his window with 
a careless air, taking care to keep a little opening behind the 
curtain, through which he could see without being seen. 
What he had foreseen happened. Very soon the head of a 
charming young girl appeared on the terrace ; but, as without 
doubt the ground on which he had ventured with so much 
courage, was too damp, she would not go any further. The 
little dog, not less timid than its mistress, remained near her, 
resting its white paws on the window, and shaking its head 
in silent denial to every invitation. A dialogue was estab- 
lished between the good man and the young girl, while 
D'Harmental had leisure to examine her at ease. 

She appeared to have arrived at that delicious time of life 
when woman, passing from childhood to youth, is in the full 
bloom of sentiment, grace, and beauty. He saw that she was 
not less than sixteen nor more than eighteen years of age, 
and that there existed in her a singular mixture of two races. 
She had the fair hair, thick complexion, and graceful neck of 
an English woman, with the black eyes, coral lips, and pearly 
teeth of a Spaniard. 



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66 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

As she did not use either rouge or white, and as at that 
time powder was scarcely in fashion, and was reserved for 
aristocratic heads, her complexion remained in its natural 
freshness, and nothing altered the color of her hair. 

The chevalier remained as in an ecstasy — indeed, he had 
never seen but two classes of women. The fat and coarse 
peasants of the Nivernais, with their great feet and hands, 
their short petticoats, and their hunting-horn shaped hats ; 
and the women of the Parisian aristocracy, beautiful without 
doubt, but of that beauty fagged by watching and pleasure, 
and by that reversing of life which makes them what flowers 
would be if they only saw the sun on some rare occasions, and 
the vivifying air of the morning and the evening only reached 
them through the windows of a hot-house. He did not know 
this intermediate type, if one may call it so, between high 
society and the country people, which had all the elegance of 
the one and all the fresh health of the other. Thus, as we 
have said, he remained fixed in his place, and long after the 
young girl had re-entered he kept his eyes fixed on the window 
where this delicious vision had appeared. 

The sound of his door opening called him out of his ecstasy : 
it was the pat^ and the wine from Abbe Brigand making their 
solemn entry into the chevalier's garret. The sight of these 
provisions recalled to his mind that he had now something 
better to do than to abandon himself to contemplation, and 
that he had given Captain Eoquefinette a rendezvous on the 
most important business. Consequently he looked at his 
watch and saw that it was ten o'clock. This was, as the 
reader will remember, the appointed hour. He sent away the 
man who had brought the provisions, and said he would lay 
the cloth himself ; then, opening his window once more, he 
sat down to watch for the appearance of Captain Eoquefinette. 



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THE COMPACT. 67 

CHAPTER XL 

THE COMPACT. 

He was hardly at his observatory before he perceived the 
worthy captain coming roand the corner from the Rue Gros- 
Chenet, his head in the air, his hand on his hip, and with the 
martial and decided air of a man who, like the Greek philoso- 
pher, carries everything with him. His hat, that thermometer 
by which his friends could tell the secret state of its master's 
finances, and which, on his fortunate days was placed as 
straight on his head as a pyramid on its base, had recovered 
that miraculous inclination which had so struck the Baron de 
Valef and, thanks to which, one of the points almost touched 
his right shoulder, while the parallel one might forty years 
later have given Franklin, if Franklin had known the captain, 
the first idea of his electric kite. 

Having come about a third down the street, he raised his 
head as had been arranged, and saw the chevalier just above 
him. He who waited and he who was waited for exchanged 
nods, and the captain having calculated the distance at a 
glance, and recognized the door which ought to belong to the 
window above, jumped over the threshold of Madame Denis' 
poor little house with as much familiarity as if it had been a 
tavern. The chevalier shut the window and drew the curtains 
with the greatest care — either in order that his pretty neigh- 
bor might not see him with the captain, or that the captain 
might not see her. 

An instant afterwards D'Harmental heard the sound of his 
steps and the beating of his sword against the banisters. 
Having arrived at the third story, as the light which came 
from below was not aided by any light from above, he found 
himself in a difficulty, not knowing whether to stop where 
he was or mount higher. Then, after coughing in the 
most significant manner, and finding that this call remained 
unnoticed : 

" Morhleu I '' said he. " Chevalier, as you did not proba- 
bly bring me here to break my neck, open your door or call 
out, so that I may be guided either by the light of heaven or 
by the sound of your voice ; otherwise I shall be lost, neither 
more nor less than T^ieseus in the labyrinth." 



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68 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

And the captain began to sing in a loud voice : 

** Fair Ariadne, I beg of yon, 
Help me, by lending me yonr cine. 
Touton, toutou, toutaine, tonton I " 

The chevalier ran to his door and opened it. 

"My friend," said the captain, "the ladder up to your 
pigeon-house is infernally dark ; still here I am, faithful to the 
agreement, exact to the time. Ten o'clock was striking as I 
came over the Pont-Neuf." 

The chevalier extended his hand to Eoquefinette, saying : 

" Yes, you are a man of your word, but enter quickly ; it is 
important that my neighbors should not notice you." 

" In that case I am as dumb as a log," answered the captain ; 
"besides," added he, pointing to the pat^ and the bottles 
which covered the table, "you have found the true way of 
shutting my mouth." 

The chevalier shut the door behind the captain and pushed 
the bolt. 

" Ah ! ah ! mystery — so much the better ; I am fond of 
mystery. There is almost always something to be gained 
when people begin by saying * hush.' In any case you can 
not do better than address yourself to your servant," con- 
tinued the captain, resuming his mythological language. 
" You see in me the grandson of Hippocrates, the god of 
silence. So do not be uneasy." 

" That is well, captain," answered D'Harmental, " for I 
confess that what I have to say to you is of sufficient impor- 
tance for me to claim your discretion beforehand." 

" It is granted, chevalier. While I was giving a lesson to 
little Eavanne I saw, out of a comer of my eye, that you 
were a skilful swordsman, and I love brave men. Then, in 
return for a little service, only worth a fillip, you made me a 
present of a horse which was worth a hundred louis, and I 
love generous men. Thus you are twice my man, why should 
I not be yours once ? " 

« Well," said the chevalier, " I see that we understand each 
other." 

" Speak, and I will listen," answered the captain, assuming 
his gravest air. 

" You will listen better seated my dear guest. Let us go 
to breakfast." 



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THE COMPACT. 69 

" You preach like St. John with the golden mouth, cheva- 
lier," said the captain, taking off his sword and placing that 
and his hat on the harpsichord ; '* so that," continued he, sit- 
ting down opposite D'Harmental, " one cannot differ from you 
in opinion. I am here ; command the manoeuvre, and I will 
execute it." 

" Taste that wine while I cut the pat^." 

" That is right," said the captain, " let us divide our forces 
and fight the enemy separately, then let us re-unite to exter- 
minate what remains." 

And joining practice to theory, the captain seized the first 
bottle by the neck, drew the cork and, having filled a bumper, 
drank it off with such ease that one would have said that 
nature had gifted him with an especial method of deglutition ; 
but, to do him justice, scarcely had he drunk it than he per- 
ceived that the liquor, which he had disposed of so cavalierly, 
merited a more particular attention than he had given it. 

"Oh I" said he, putting down his glass with a respectful 
slowness, " what have I done, unworthy that I am ? I drink 
nectar as if it were trash, and that at the beginning of the 
feast ! Ah ! " continued he, shaking his head, " Roquefinette, 
my friend, you are getting old. Ten years ago you would 
have known what it was at the first drop that touched your 
palate, while now you want many trials to know the worth of 
things. To your health, chevalier." 

And this time the captain, more circumspect, drank the 
second glass slowly, and set it down three times before he 
finished it, winking his eyes in sign of satisfaction. Then, 
when he had finished : 

" This is hermitage of 1702, the year of the battle of Fried- 
lingen. If your wine-merchant has much like that, and if he 
will give credit, let me have his address. I promise him a 
good customer." 

"Captain," answered the chevalier, slipping an enormous 
slice of pat^ on to the plate of his guest, " my wine-merchant 
not only gives credit, but to my friends he gives altogether." 

" Oh, the honest man ! " cried the captain. Then, after a 
minute's silence, during which a superficial observer would 
have thought him absorbed in the appreciation of the pate, 
as he had been an instant before in that of the wine, he leant 
his two elbows on the table, and looking at D'Harmental with 
a penetrating glance between his knife and fork ; 



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70 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

*' So, my dear chevalier," said he, « we conspire, it seems, 
and in order to succeed we have need of poor Captain Eoque- 
finette." 

" And who told you that, captain ? " broke in the chevalier, 
trembling in spite of himself. 

" Who told me that, pardieu / It is an easy riddle to 
answer. A man who gives away horses worth a hundred 
louis, who drinks wine at a pistole the bottle, and who lodges 
in a garret in the Rue du Temps-Perdu, what should he be 
doing if not conspiring ? " 

" Well, captain," said D'Harmental, laughing, « I shall 
never be discreet ; you have divined the truth. Does a con- 
spiracy frighten you ? " continued he, filling his guest's glass. 

" Frighten me ! Who says that anything on earth can 
frighten Captain Roquefinette ? " 

« Not I, captain ; for at the first glance, at the first word, I 
fixed on you as my second." 

"Ah, that is to say, that if you are hung on a scaffold 
twenty feet high I shall be hung on one ten feet high, that 's 
all!" 

" Fe&te / captain," said D'Harmental, " if one always began 
by seeing things in their worst light one would never attempt 
anything." 

" Because I have spoken of the gallows ? " answered the 
captain. *< That proves nothing. Wliat is the gallows in the 
eyes of a philosopher ? One of the thousand ways of parting 
from life, and certainly one of the least disagreeable. One 
can see that you have never looked the thing in the face, since 
you have such an aversion to it. Besides, on proving our 
noble descent, we shall have our heads cut off, like Monsieur 
de Rohan. Did you see Monsieur de Rohan's head cut off ? " 
continued the captain, looking at D'Harmental. " He was a 
handsome young man, like you, and about your age. He con- 
spired, but the thing failed. What would you have ? Every- 
body may be deceived. They built him a beautiful black 
scaffold ; they allowed him to turn towards the window where 
his mistress was ; they cut the neck of his shirt with scissors, 
but the executioner was a bungler, accustomed to hang, and 
not to decapitate, so that he was obliged to strike three or 
four times to cut the head off, and at last he only managed by 
the aid of a knife which he drew from his girdle, and witi 
which he chopped so well that he got the neck in half. 



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THE COMPACT. 71 

Bravo ! you are brave ! '' continued the captain, seeing that the 
chevalier had listened without frowning to all the details of 
this horrible execution. "That will do — I am your man. 
Against whom are we conspiring ? Let us see. Is it against 
Monsieur le Due du Maine ? Is it against Monsieur le Due 
d'Orleans ? Must we break the lame one's other leg ? Must 
we cut out the blind one's other eye ? I am ready." 

" Nothing of all that^ captain ; and if it pleases God there 
will be no blood spilt." 

" What is going on, then ? " 

" Have you ever heard of the abduction of the Duke of 
Mantua's secretary ? " 

" Of Matthioli ? " 

" Yes." 

^^Pardieu! I know the affair better than any one, for I 
saw them pass as they were conducting him to Pignerol. It 
was the Chevalier de Saint-Martin and Monsieur de Villebois 
who did it; and' by this token they each had three thousand 
livres for themselves and their men." - 

" That was only middling pay," said D'Harmental, with a 
disdainful air. 

"You think so, chevalier? ITevertheless three thousand 
livres is a nice little sum." 

"Then for three thousand livres you would have under- 
taken it ? " 

" I would have undertaken it," answered the captain. 

" But if instead of carrying off a secretary it had been 
proposed to you to carry off a duke ? " 

" That would have been dearer." 

" But you would have undertaken it all the same ?" 

" Why not ? I should have asked double — that is all." 

" And if, in giving you double, a man like myself had said 
to you, ' Captain, it is not an obscure danger that I plunge 
you into ; it is a struggle in which I am myself engaged, like 
you, and in which I venture my name, my future, and my 
head ; ' what would you have answered ? " 

" I would have given him my hand, as I now give it you. 
Now what is the business ? " 

The chevalier filled his own glass and that of the captain. 

"To the health of the Eegent," said he, "and may he 
arrive without accident at the Spanish frontier, as Matthioli 
arrived at Pignerol." 



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72 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

" Ah ! ah ! " said the captain, raising his glass. Then, after 
a pause, " And why not ? '' continued he, " the Regent is but 
a man after all. Only we shall neither be hung nor decapi- 
tated; we shall be broken on the wheel. To any one else 
I should say that a Begent would be dearer, but to you, cheva- 
lier, I have only one price. Give me six thousand livres, and 
I will find a dozen determined men." 

" But those twelve men do you think that you may trust 
them ? " 

" What need for their knowing what they are doing ? They 
shall think they are only carrying out a wager.'' 

"And V answered D'Hai-mental, "will show you that I 
do not haggle with my friends. Here are two thousand 
crowns in gold, take them on account if we succeed; if we 
fail we will cry quits." 

" Chevalier," answered the captain, taking the bag of money 
and poising it on his hand with an indescribable air of satis- 
faction, " I will not do you the injustice of counting after you. 
When is the affair to be ? " 

" I do not know yet, captain ; but if you find the pat^ to 
your taste, and the wine good, and if you will do me the 
pleasure of breakfasting with me every day as you have done 
to-day, I will keep you informed of everything." 

"That would not do, chevalier," said the captain. "I 
should not have come to you three mornings before the police 
of that cursed Argenson would have found us out. Luckily 
he has found some one as clever as himself, and it will be 
some time before we are at the bar together. No, no, cheva- 
lier, from now till the moment for action the less we see of 
one another the better ; or rather, we must not see each other 
at all. Your street is not a long one, and as it opens at one 
end on the Rue du Gros Chenet, and at the other on the 
Rue Montmartre, I shall have no reason for coming through 
it. Here," continued he, detaching his shoulder-knot, " take 
this ribbon. The day that you want me, tie it to a nail out- 
side your window. I shall understand it, and I will come 
to you." 

" How, captain ! " said D'Harmental, seeing that his com- 
panion was fastening on his sword. " Are you going without 
finishing the bottle ? What has the wine, which you appeared 
to appreciate so much a little while ago, done to you, that 
you despise it so now ? " 



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INDECISION. 73 

"It is just because I appreciate it still that I separate 
myself from it ; and the proof that I do not despise it/' said 
the captain^ filling his glass, " is that I am going to take an 
adieu of it. To your health, chevalier; you may boast of 
having good wine. Hum! And now, n — o, no, that is all. 
I shall take to water till I see the ribbon flutter from your 
window. Try to let it be as soon as possible, for water is a 
liquid that does not suit my constitution." 

" But why do you go so soon ? " 

"Because I know Captain Roquefinette. He is a good 
fellow ; but when he sits down before a bottle he must drink, 
and when he has drunk he must talk; and, however well 
one talks, remember that those who talk much always finish 
by making some blunder. Adieu, chevalier. Do not forget 
the crimson ribbon ; I go to look after our business." 

" Adieu, captain," said D'Harmental ; " I am pleased to see 
that I have no need to preach discretion to you." 

The captain made the sign of the cross on his mouth with 
his right thumb, placed his hat straight on his head, raised 
his sword for fear of its making a noise or beating against 
the wall, and went down stairs as silently as if he had feared 
that every step would echo in the Hotel d'Argenson. 



CHAPTEE XII. 

INDECISION. 

The chevalier remained alone ; but this time there was, in 
what had just passed between himself and the captain, suffi- 
cient matter for reflection to render it unnecessary for him 
to have recourse either to the poetry of the Abb^ Chaulieu, 
his harpsichord, or his chalks. Indeed, until now he had 
been only half engaged in the hazardous enterprise of which 
the Duchesse du Maine and the Prince de Cellamare had 
shown him the happy ending, and of which the captain, in 
order to try his courage, had so brutally exhibited to him the 
bloody catastrophe. As yet he had only been the end of a 
chain, and, on breaking away from one side, he would have 
been loose. Now he was become an intermediate ring, fast- 
ened at both ends, and attached at the same time to people 



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74 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

above and below him in society. In a word, from this hour 
he no longer belonged to himself, and he was like the Alpine 
traveller who, having lost his way, stops in the middle of an 
unknown road, and measures with his eye, for the first time, 
the mountain which rises above him and the gulf which yawns 
beneath his feet. 

Luckily the chevalier had the calm, cold, and resolute 
courage of a man in whom fire and determination — those two 
opposite forces — instead of neutralizing, stimulated each 
other. He engaged in danger with all the rapidity of a 
sanguine man ; he weighed it with all the consideration of a 
phlegmatic one. Madame du Maine was right when she 
said to Madame de Launay that she might put out her 
lantern, and that she believed she had at last found a man. 

But this man was young, twenty-six years of age, with a 
heart open to all the illusions and all the poetry of that first 
part of existence. As a child he had laid down his play- 
things at the feet of his mother. As a young man he had 
come to exhibit his handsome uniform as colonel to the eyes 
of his mistress ; indeed, in every enterprise of his life some 
loved image had gone before him, and he threw himself into 
danger with the certainty that, if he succumbed, there would 
be some one surviving who would mourn his fate. 

But his mother was dead, the last woman by whom he had 
believed himself loved had betrayed him, and he felt alone in 
the world — 'bound solely by interest to men to whom he 
would become an obstacle as soon as he ceased to be an 
instrument, and who, if he broke down, far from mourning 
his loss, would only see in it a cause of satisfaction. But this 
isolated position, which ought to be the envy of all men in a 
great danger, is almost always (such is the egotism of our 
nature) a cause of the most profound discouragement. Such is 
the horror of nothingness in man that he believes he still sur- 
vives in the sentiments which he has inspired, and he in some 
measure consoles himself for leaving the world by thinking 
of the regrets which will accompany his memory and of the 
pity which will visit his tomb. Thus, at this instant, the 
chevalier would have given everything to be loved, if it was 
only by a dog. 

He was plunged in the saddest of these reflections when, 
passing and repassing before his window, he noticed that his 
neighbor's was Qpen. He stopped suddenly, and shook his 



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INDECISION. 75 

heady as if to cast off the most sombre of these thoughts ; 
then, leaning his elbow on the table^ and his head on his 
hand, he tried to give a different direction to his thoughts by 
looking at exterior objects. 

The young girl whom he had seen in the morning was 
seated near her window in order to benefit by the last rays 
of daylight; she was working at some kind of embroidery. 
Behind her the harpsichord was open, and, on a stool at her 
feet, her greyhound slept the light sleep of an animal destined 
by nature to be the guard of man, waking at every noise 
which arose from the street, raising its ears, and stretching out 
its elegant head over the window sill ; then it lay down again, 
placing one of its little paws upon its mistress' knees. All 
this was deliciously lighted up by the rays of the sinking sun, 
which penetrated into the room, sparkling on the steel 
ornaments of the harpsichord and the gold beading of the 
picture frames. The rest was in twilight. 

Then it seemed to the chevalier (doubtless on account of 
the disposition of mind he was in when this picture had struck 
his eye) that this young girl, with the calm and sweet face, 
entered into his life like one of those personages who always 
remain behind a veil and make their entrance on a piece in 
the second or third act to take part in the action and, some- 
times, to change the denouement. 

Since the age when one sees angels in one's dreams he 
had seen no one like her. She was a mixture of beauty, 
candor, and simplicity, such as Qreuze has copied, not from 
nature, but from the reflections in the mirror of his imagi- 
nation. Then, forgetting everything, the humble condition 
in which without doubt she had been bom, the street where 
he had found her, the modest room which she had inhabited, 
seeing nothing in the woman except the woman herself, he 
attributed to her a heart corresponding with her face, and 
thought what must be the happiness of the man who should 
first cause that heart to beat; who should be looked upon 
with love by those beautiful eyes, and who, in the words, 
"I love you I" should gather from those lips, so fresh and 
so pure, that fiower of the soul — a first kiss. 

Such are the different aspects which the same objects bor- 
row from the situation of him who looks at them. A week 
before, in the midst of his gaiety, in his life which no danger 
menaced, between a breakfast at the tavern and a stag-hunt, 



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76 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

between a wager at tennis and a supper at La Fillon's, if 
D'Harmental had met this young girl he would doubtless 
have seen in her nothing but a charming grisette, whom he 
would have had followed by his valet de chambre, and to whom, 
the next day, he would have outrageously offered a present of 
some twenty-five louis. 

But the D'Harmental of a week ago existed no more. In 
the place of the handsome seigneur — elegant, wild, dissipated, 
and certain of life — was an insulated young man, walking in 
the shade, alone and self-reliant, without a star to guide 
him, who might suddenly feel the earth open under his feet, 
and the heavens burst above his head. He had need of a 
support, so feeble was he; he had need of love, he had 
need of poetry. It was not, then, wonderful that, searching 
for a Madonna to whom to address his prayers, he raised in 
his imagination this young and beautiful girl from the material 
and prosaic sphere in which he found her, and that, drawing 
her into his' own, he placed her, not such as she was, doubtless, 
but such as he wished her to be, on the empty pedestal of his 
past adorations. 

All at once the young girl raised her head, and happened 
to look in his direction, and saw the pensive figure of the 
chevalier through the glass. It appeared evident to her that 
the young man remained there for her, and that it was at her 
he was looking. Then a bright blush spread over her face. 
Still she pretended she had seen nothing, and bent her head 
once more over her embroidery. But a minute afterwards 
she rose, took a few turns round her room ; then, without 
affectation, without false prudery, but nevertheless with a cer- 
tain embarrassment, she returned and shut the window. 
D'Harmental remained where he was, and as he was, con- 
tinuing, in spite of the shutting of the window, to advance 
into the imaginary country where his thoughts were straying. 

Once or twice he thought that he saw the curtain of his 
neighbor's window raised, as if she wished to know whether 
he whose indiscretion had driven her from her place was still 
at his. At last a few masterly chords were heard; a sweet 
harmony followed ; and it was then D'Harmental who opened 
his window in his turn. 

He had not been mistaken, his neighbor was an admirable 
musician ; she executed two or three little pieces, but without 
blending her voice with the sound of the instrument ; and 



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INDECISION. 77 

lyHarmental found almost as much pleasure in listening to 
her as he had found in looking at her. Suddenly she stopped 
in the midst of a passage. D'Harmental supposed either that 
she had seen him at his window, and wished to punish him 
for his curiosity, or that some one had come in and inter- 
rupted her. He retired into his room, but so as not to lose 
sight of the window, and soon discovered that his last sup- 
position was the true one. 

A man came to the window, raised the curtain, and pressed 
his fat, good-natured face against the glass, whilst with one 
hand he beat a march against the panes. The chevalier 
recognized, in spite of a sensible difference which there was 
in his toilette, the man of the water-jet whom he had seen 
on the terrace in the morning, and who, with a perfect air of 
familiarity, had twice pronounced the name of " Bathilde." 

This apparition, more than prosaic, produced the effect 
which might naturally have been expected ; that is to say, 
it brought D'Harmental back from imaginary to real life. 
He had forgotten this man, who made such a strange and 
perfect contrast with the young girl, and who must doubtless 
be either her father, her lover, or her husband. But in either 
of these cases, what could there be in common between the 
daughter, the wife, or the mistress of such a man and the 
noble and aristocratic chevalier? The wife! It is a mis- 
fortune of her dependent situation that she rises and falls 
according to the grandeur or vulgarity of him on whose arm 
she leans ; and it must be confessed that the gardener was 
not formed to maintain poor Bathilde at the height to which 
the chevalier had raised her in his dreams. 

. Then he began to laugh at his own folly; and the night 
having arrived, and as he had not been outside the door since 
the day before, he determined to take a walk through the 
town, in order to assure himself of the truth of the Prince de 
Cellamare's reports. He wrapped himself in his cloak, 
descended the four stories, and bent his steps towards the 
Luxembourg, where the note which the Abbe Brigand had 
brought him in the morning said that the Regent was going 
to supper without guards. 

Arrived opposite the palace of the Luxembourg, the 
chevalier saw none of those signs which should announce 
that the Due d'Orleans was at his daughter's house : there was 
only one sentinel at the door, whilst from the moment that 



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78 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

fche Regent entered a second was generally placed there. 
Besides^ he saw no carriage waiting in the courts no footmen 
or outriders; it was evident, then, that he had not come. 
The chevalier waited to see him pass, for, as the Regent never 
breakfasted, and took nothing but a cup of chocolate at two 
o'clock in the afternoon, he rarely supped later than six 
o'clock ; but a quarter to six had struck at the St. Surplice 
at the moment when the chevalier turned the corner of the 
Rue de Cond^ and the Rue de Vaugirard. 

The chevalier waited an hour and a half in the Rue de 
Tournon, going from the Rue du Petit-Lion to the palace, 
without seeing what he had come to look for. At a quarter 
to eight he saw some movement in the Luxembourg A 
carriage, with outriders armed with torches, came to the foot of 
the steps. A minute after three women got in \ he heard the 
coachman call to the outriders, " To the Palais Royal ; '' and 
the outriders set off at a gallop, the carriage followed, the 
sentinel presented arms ; and, quickly as the elegant equipage 
with the royal arms of France passed, the chevalier recognized 
the Duchesse de Berry, Madame de Mouchy, her lady of 
honor, and Madame de Pons, her tirewoman. 

There had been an important error in the report sent to 
the chevalier : it was the daughter who went to the father, 
not the father who came to the daughter. 

Nevertheless, the chevalier still waited, for some accident 
might have happened to the Regent which detained him at 
home. An hour after he saw the carriage repass. The 
Duchesse de Berry was laughing at a story which Broglie was 
telling her. There had not, then, been any serious accident ; 
it was the police of the Prince de Cellamare, then, that were 
at fault. 

The chevalier returned home about ten o'clock without 
having been met or recognized. He had some trouble to get 
the door opened, for, according to the patriarchal habits of 
Madame Denis's house, the porter had gone to bed, and came 
out grumbling to unfasten the bolts. D'Harmental slipped 
a crown into his hand, saying to him, once for all, that he 
should sometimes return late, but that each time that he did 
so he would give him the same ; upon which the porter 
thanked him, and assured him that he was perfectly welcome 
to come home at any time he liked, or even not to return 
ataU. 



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INDECISION. 79 

On returning to his room, D'Harmental saw that his neigh- 
bor's was lighted up; he placed his candle behind a piece 
of furniture, and approached the window, so that, as much as 
the muslin curtains allowed, he could see into her room, while 
she could not see into his. 

She was seated near a table, drawing, probably on a card 
which she held on her knees, for he saw her profile standing 
out black against the light behind her. Shortly another 
shadow, which the chevalier recognized as that of the good 
man of the terrace, passed twice between the light and the 
window. At last the shade approached the young girl, she 
offered her forehead, the shadow imprinted a kiss on it, and 
went away, with his candle in his hand. Directly afterwards 
the windows of the fifth story were lighted up. All these 
little circumstances spoke a language which it was impossible 
not to understand. The man of the terrace was not the 
husband of Bathilde, he must be her father. 

D'Harmental, without knowing why, felt overjoyed at this 
discovery ; he opened his window as softly as he could, and 
leant on the bar, which served him as a support, with his 
eyes fixed on the shadow. He fell into the same reverie 
out of which he had been startled that morning by the gro- 
tesque apparition of his neighbor. In about an hour the 
girl rose, put down her card and crayons on the table, 
advanced towards the alcove, knelt on a chair before the 
second window, and offered up her prayers. D'Harmental 
understood that her laborious watch was finished, but remem- 
bering the curiosity of his beautiful neighbor, when he had 
begun to play the first time, he wished to see if he could 
prolong that watch, and he sat down to his spinet. What 
he had foreseen happened ; at the first notes which reached 
her, the young girl, not knowing that from the position of 
the light he could see her shadow through the curtains, 
approached the window on tip-toe, and thinking herself hid- 
den, she listened to the melodious instrument, which, like the 
nightingale, awoke to sing in the middle of the night. 

The concert would have probably continued thus for some 
hours, for D'Harmental, encouraged by the result produced, 
felt an energy and an ease of execution such as he had never 
known before. Unluckily, the occupier of the third floor was 
undoubtedly some clown, no lover of music, for D'Harmental 
heard suddenly, just below his feet, the noise of a stick 



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80 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

knocking on the ceiling with such violence that he could not 
doubt that it was a warning to him to put off his melodious 
occupation till a more suitable period. Under other circum- 
stances D'Harmental would have sent the impertinent adviser 
to the devil, but reflecting that any ill-feeling on the lodger's 
part would injure his own reputation with Madame Denis, 
and that he was playing too heavy a game to risk being 
recognized, and not to submit philosophically to all the incon- 
veniences of the new position which he had adopted, instead 
of setting himself in opposition to the rules established with- 
out doubt between Madame Denis and her lodgers, he 
obeyed the intimation, forgetting in what manner that inti- 
mation had been given him. 

On her part, as soon as she heard nothing more, the young 
girl left the window, and as she let the inner curtains fall 
behind her she disappeared from D'Harmental's eyes. Eor 
some time longer he could still see a light in her room; 
then the light was extinguished. As to the window on the 
fifth floor, for some time that had been in the most perfect 
darkness. D'Harmental also went to bed, joyous to think 
that there existed a point of sympathy between himself and 
his neighbor. 

The next day the Abb^ Brigand entered the room with his 
accustomed punctuality. The chevalier had already been up 
more than an hour ; he had gone twenty times to his window, 
but without seeing his neighbor, although it was evident that 
she was up even before himself; indeed, on waking he had 
seen the large curtains put up in their bands. Thus he was 
disposed to let out his ill-humor on any one. 

" Ah ! pardieu ! my dear abb^," said he, as soon as the 
door was shut ; " congratulate the prince for me on his police ; 
it is perfectly arranged, on my honor ! " 

« What have you got against them ? " asked the abb^, with 
the half-smile which was habitual to him. 

" What have I ! I have that, wishing to judge for myself, 
last evening, of its truth, I went and hid myself in the Rue 
Tournon. I remained there four hours, and it was not the 
Eegent who came to his daughter, but Madame de Berry who 
went to her father." 

" Well, we know that." 

" Ah ! you know that ! " said D'Harmental. 

" Yes, and by this token, that she left the Luxembourg at 



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INDECISION. 81 

five minutes to eight, with Madame de Mouchy and Madame 
de Pons, and that she returned at half-past nine, bringing 
Broglie with her, who came to take the Regent's place at 
table." 

" And where was the Regent ? " 

"The Regent?*' 

" Yes." 

"That is another story, you shall learn. Listen, and do 
not lose* a word ; then we shall see if you will say that the 
prince's police is badly arranged." 

" I attend." 

"Our report announced that at three o'clock the Duke- 
Regent woiid go to play tennis in the Rue de Seine." 

" Yes." 

"He went. In about half an hour he left holding his 
handkerchief over his eyes. He had hit himself on the brow 
with the racket, and with such violence that he had torn the 
skin of his forehead." 

" Ah, this, then, was the accident ! " 

" Listen. Then the Regent, instead of returning to the 
Palais Royal, was driven to the house of Madame de Sabran. 
You know where Madame de Sabran lives ? " 

" She lived in the Rue de Tournon, but since her husband 
has become mattre d^ hotel to the Regent she lives in the Rue 
des Bons-Enfans, near the Palais Royal." 

" Exactly ; but it seems that Madame de Sabran, who until 
now was faithful to Richelieu, was touched by the pitiable 
state in which she saw the prince, and wished to justify the 
proverb, < Unlucky at play, lucky at love.' The prince, by a 
little note, dated half-past seven, from the drawing-room of 
Madame de Sabran, with whom he supped, announced to 
Broglie that he should not go to the Luxembourg, and charged 
him to go in his stead and make his excuses to the Duchesse 
de Berry." 

" Ah, this, then, was the story which Broglie was telling, and 
at which the ladies were laughing." 

" It is probable ; now do you understand ? " 

" Yes ; I understand that the Regent is not possessed of 
ubiquity, and could not be at the house of Madame de Sabran 
and at his daughter's at the same time." 

" And you only understand that ? " 

" My dear abbd, you speak like an oracle j explain yourself." 



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82 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

" This evening, at eight o'clock, I will come for you ; we 
will go to the Eue des Bons-Enfans together. To me the 
locality is eloquent." 

" Ah ! ah ! " said D^Harmental, " I see ; so near the Palais 
Royal he will go on foot. The hotel which Madame de 
Sabran inhabits has an entrance from the Eue des Bons- 
Enf ans ; after a certain hour they shut the passage from the 
Palais Royal, which opens on the Eue des Bons-Enfans : and 
he will be obliged, on his return, to follow either the Cour des 
Fontaines, or the Eue Neuve des Bons-Enfans, and then we 
shall have him. Mordieu ! you are a great man, and if 
Monsieur du Maine does not make you cardinal, or at least 
archbishop, there will be no justice done." 

"I think, therefore, that now you must hold yourself in 
readiness." 

" I am ready." 

'* Have you the means of execution prepared ? " 

« I have." 

" Then you can correspond with your men ? " 

" By a sign." 

" Aid that sign cannot betray you ? " 

" Impossible." 

" Then all goes well, and we may have breakfast ; for I was 
in such haste to tell you the good news that I came out fasting." 

"Breakfast, my dear abb^! you speak coolly; I have 
nothing to offer you except the remains of the pate and two or 
three bottles of wine, which, I believe, survived the battle." 

" Hum ! hum," murmured the abb^ ; " we will do better than 
that, my dear chevalier." 

" I am at your orders." 

"Let us go down and breakfast with our good hostess, 
Madame Denis." 

« And why do you want me to breakfast with her ? Do I 
know her ? " 

" That concerns me. I shall present you as my pupil." 

" But we shall get a detestable breakfast." 

" Comfort yourself. I know her table." 

" But this breakfast will be tiresome." 

" But you will make a friend of a woman much known in 
the neighborhood for her good conduct, for her devotion to 
the Government — a woman incapable of harboring a con- 
spirator. Do you understand that ? " 



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INDECISION. 88 

"K it be for the good of the cause^ abb^, I sacrifice myself." 

" Moreover, it is a very agreeable house, where there are 
two young people who play — one on the spinet and the other 
on the guitar — and a young man who is an attorney's clerk ; 
a house where you may go down on Sunday evenings to play 
lots." 

" Go to the devil with your Madame Denis. Ah ! pardon, 
abb^, perhaps you are her friend. In that case imagine that I 
have said nothing." 

"I am her confessor," replied the Abb^ Brigand, with a 
modest air. 

"Then a thousand excuses, my dear abb^; but you are 
right indeed. Madame Denis is still a beautiful woman, 
perfectly well preserved, with superb hands and very pretty 
feet. Feste ! I remember that. Go down first ; I will follow." 

« Why not together ? " 

" But my toilet, abbe. Would you have me appear before 
the Demoiselles Denis with my hair in its present state ? 
One must try to look one's best — que diable I Besides, it is 
better that you should announce me : I have not a confessor's 
privilege." 

" You are right. I will go down and announce you, and in 
ten minutes you will arrive — will you not ? " 

" In ten minutes." 

« Adieu I " 

" Au revoir I " 

The chevalier had only told half the truth. He might have 
remained partly to dress, but also in the hope of seeing his 
beautiful neighbor, of whom he had dreamed all the night, 
but in vain. He remained hidden behind the curtains of his 
window : those of the young girl with the fair hair and the 
beautiful black eyes remained closed. It is true that, in 
exchange, he could perceive his neighbor, who, opening his 
door, passed out with the same precaution as the day before, 
first his hand, then his head ; but this time his boldness went 
no further, for there was a slight fog, and fog is essentially 
contrary to the organization of the Parisian bourgeois. Our 
friend coughed twice and then, drawing in his head and his 
arm, re-entered his room like a tortoise into his shell. D'Har- 
mental saw with pleasure that he might dispense with buying 
a barometer, and that this neighbor would render him the 
same service as the butterflies, which come out in the sunshine 



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84 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

and remain obstinately shut up in their hermitages on the 
days when it rains. 

The apparition had its ordinary effect and reacted on poor 
Bathilde. Every time that lyHarmental perceived the young 
girl there was in her such a sweet attraction that he saw 
nothing but the woman — young, beautiful, and graceful, a 
musician and painter — that is to say, the most delicious and 
complete creature he had ever met. But when, in his turn, 
the man of the terrace presented himself to the chevalier's 
gaze, with his common face, his significant figure — that 
indelible type of vulgarity which attaches to certain individ- 
uals — directly a sort of miraculous transition took place in 
the chevalier's mind. All the poetry disappeared, as a 
machinist's whistle causes the disappearance of a fairy palace. 
Everything was seen by a different light. D'Harmental's 
native aristocracy regained the ascendancy. Bathilde was 
then nothing but the daughter of this man — that is to say, a 
grisette : her beauty, her grace, her elegance, even her talents, 
were but an accident — an error of nature — something like a 
rose flowering on a cabbage-stalk. The chevalier shrugged 
his shoulders as he stood before the glass, began to laugh, and 
to wonder at the impression which he had received. He 
attributed it to the pre-occupation of his mind, to the strange 
and solitary situation, to everything, in fact, except its true 
cause — the sovereign and irresistible power of distinction and 
beauty. D'Harmental went down to his hostess disposed to 
find the daughters of Madame Denis charming. 



CHAPTER XIII. 

THE DENIS FAMILY. 

Madame Denis did not think it proper that two young 
persons as innocent as her daughters should breakfast with a 
young man who, although he had been only three days in 
Paris, already came in at eleven o'clock at night, and played 
on the harpsichord till two in the morning. In vain the Abb^ 
Brigand affirmed that this double infraction of the rules of 
her house should in no degree lower her opinion of his pupil, 
for whom he could answer as fgr himself. All he could obtain 



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THE DENIS FAMILY. 85 

was that the young ladies should appear at the dessert ; but 
the chevalier soon perceived that if their mother had ordered 
them not to be seen, she had not forbidden them to be heard, 
for scarcely were they at table, round a veritable devotee's 
breakfast, composed of a multitude of little dishes, tempting 
to the eye and delicious to the palate, when the sounds of a 
spinet were heard, accompanying a voice which was not want- 
ing in compass, but whose frequent errors of intonation showed 
lamentable inexperience. At the first notes Madame Denis 
placed her hand on the abba's arm, then, after an instant's 
silence, during which she listened with a pleased smile to 
that music which made the chevalier's flesh creep, " Do you 
hear ? " she said. " It is our Athenais who is playing, and it 
is Emilie who sings." 

The Abbe Brigand, making signs that he heard perfectly, 
trod on D'Harmental's foot under the table to hint that this 
was an opportunity for paying a compliment. 

" Madame," said the chevalier, who understood this appeal 
to his politeness perfectly, " we are doubly indebted to you ; 
for you offer us not only an excellent breakfast, but a delight- 
ful concert." 

"Yes," replied Madame Dehis, negligently, "it is those 
children ; they do not know you are here, and they are practis- 
ing ; but I will go and tell them to stop." 

Madame Denis was going to rise. 

" What, madame ! " said D'Harmental, " because I come 
frofn Eavenne do you believe me unworthy to make acquaint- 
ance with the talents of the capital ? " 

"Heaven preserve me, monsieur, from having such an 
opinion of you," said Madame Denis, maliciously, "for I 
know you are a musician ; the lodger on the third story told 
me so." 

" In that case, madame, perhaps he did not give you a very 
high idea of my merit," replied the chevalier, laughing, " for 
he did not appear to appreciate the little I may possess." 

" He only said that it appeared to him a strange time for 
music. But listen. Monsieur Raoul," added Madame Denis ; 
" the parts are changed now, my dear abb^, it is our Athenais 
who sings, and it is Emilie who accompanies her on the 
guitar," 

It appeared that Madame Denis had a weakness for Athenais, 
for instead of talking as she did when Emilie was singing, she 



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86 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

listened from one end to the other to the romance of her 
favorite, her eyes tenderly fixed on the Abb^ Brigaiid, who, 
still eating and drinking, contented himself with nodding his 
head in sign of approbation. Athenais sang a little more 
correctly than her sister, but for this she made up by a defect 
at least equivalent in the eyes of the chevalier. Her voice 
was equally vulgar. 

As to Madame Denis, she beat wrong time with her head, 
with an air of beatitude which did infinitely more honor to 
her maternal affection than to her musical intelligence. 

A duet succeeded to the solos. The young ladies appeared 
determined to give their whole repertoire. D'Harmental, in 
his turn, sought under the table for the abba's foot, to crush 
at least one, but he only found those of Madame Denis, who, 
taking this for a personal attention, turned graciously towards 
him. 

" Then, Monsieur Raoul," she said, " you come, young and 
inexperienced, to brave all the dangers of the capital ? " 

"Yes," said the Abb^ Brigand, taking upon himself to 
answer for fear that D'Harmental might not be able to resist 
answering by some joke. " You see in this young man, 
Madame Denis, the son of a friend who was very dear to me '' 
(the abb^ put his table-napkin up to his eyes), " and whom, I 
hope, will do credit to the care I have bestowed on his 
education." 

" And monsieur is right," replied Madame Denis ; " for, with 
his talents and appearance, there is no saying to what he may 
attain." 

'^ Ah I but, Madame Denis," saM the Abb^ Brigand, " if you 
spoil him thus I shall not bring him to you again. My dear 
Eaoul," continued the abb^, addressing him in a paternal 
manner, "I hope you will not believe a word of all this." 
Then, whispering to Madame Denis, " Such as you see him, 
he might have remained at Sauvigny, and taken the first place 
after the squire. He has three- thousand livres a year in the 
funds." 

"That is exactly what I intend giving to each of my 
daughters," replied Madame Denis, raising her voice, so as to 
be heard by the chevalier, and giving a side-glance to discover 
what effect the announcement of such magnificence would 
have upon him. 

Unfortunately for the future establishment of the Demoi- 



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THE DENIS FAMILY. 87 

selles Denis, the chevalier was not thinking of uniting the 
three thousand livres which this generous mother gave to her 
daughters to the thousand crowns a year which the Abb^ 
Brigand had bestowed on him. The shrill treble of Made- 
moiselle Emilie, the contralto of Mademoiselle Athenais, the 
accompaniment of both, had recalled to his recollection the 
pure and flexible voice and the distinguished execution of his 
neighbor. Thanks to that singular power which a great pre- 
occupation gives us over exterior objects, the chevalier had 
escaped from the charivari which was executed in the adjoin- 
ing room, and was following a sweet melody which floated in 
his mind, and which protected him, like an enchanted armor, 
from the shai-p sounds which were flying around him. 

" How he listens I " said Madame Denis to Brigand. " 'T is 
worth while taking trouble for a young man like that. I shall 
have a bone to pick with Monsieur Fremond." 

" Who is Monsieur Fr^mond ? " said the abb^, pouring him- 
self out something to drink. 

" It is the lodger on the third floor. A contemptible little 
fellow, with twelve hundred francs a year, and whose temper 
has caused me to have quarrels with every one in the house ; 
and who came to complain that Monsieur Eaoul prevented 
him and his dog from sleeping." 

"My dear Madame Denis," replied the abb^, "you must 
not quarrel with Monsieur Fr^mond for that. Two o'clock 
in the morning is an unreasonable time ; and if my pupil 
must sit up till then he must play in the day-time and draw 
in the evening." 

" What ! Monsieur Eaoul draws also ! " cried Madame 
Denis, quite astonished at so much talent. 

" Draws like Mignard." 

" Oh ! my dear abb^," said Madame Denis, " if you could 
but obtain one thing." 

" What ? " asked the abb^. 

" That he would take the portrait of our AthenaXs." 

The chevalier awoke from his reverie, as a traveller, asleep 
on the grass, feels a serpent glide up to him, and instinctively 
understands that a great danger threatens him. 

" Abb^," cried he, in a bewildered manner, " no folly ! " 

" Oh ! what is the matter with your pupil ? " asked Madame 
Denis, quite frightened. 

Happily, at the moment when the abb^ was seeking a sub- 



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88 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

terfuge, the door opened, and two young ladies entered 
blushing, and, stepping from right to left, each made a low 
courtesy. 

" Well ! " said Madame Denis, affecting an air of severity, 
" what is this ? Who gave you permission to leave your room ? " 

" Mamma," replied a voice which the chevalier recognized, 
by its shrill tones, for that of Mademoiselle Emilie, " we beg 
pardon if we have done wrong, and are willing to return." 

"But, mamma," said another voice, which the chevalier 
concluded must belong to Mademoiselle Athenais, "we 
thought that it was agreed that we were to come in at 
dessert." 

" Well, come in, since you are here ; it would be ridiculous 
now to go back. Besides," added Madame Denis, seating 
Athenais between herself and Brigand, aild Emilie between 
herself and the chevalier, " young persons are always best — 
are they not, abb^ ? — under their mother's wing." 

And Madame Denis presented to her daughters a plate of 
bonbons, from which they helped themselves with a modest 
air which did honor to their education. 

The chevalier, during the discourse and action of Madame 
Denis, had time to examine her daughters. 

Mademoiselle Emilie was a tall and stiff personage, from 
twenty-two to twenty-three, who was said to be very much 
like her late father ; an advantage which did not, however, 
suffice to gain for her in the maternal heart an affection equal 
to what Madame Denis entertained for her other two children. 
Thus poor Emilie, always afraid of being scolded, retained a 
natural awkwardness which the repeated lessons of her 
dancing-master had not been able to conquer. 

Mademoiselle Athenais, on the contrary, was little, plump, 
and rosy ; and, thanks to her sixteen or seventeen years, had 
what is vulgarly called the deviPs beauty. She did not 
resemble either Monsieur or Madame Denis, a singularity 
which had often exercised the tongues of the Rue St. Martin 
before she went to inhabit the house which her husband had 
bought in the Rue du Temps-Perdu. In spite of this absence 
of all likeness to her parents. Mademoiselle Athenais was the 
declared favorite of her mother, which gave her the assurance 
that poor Emilie wanted. Athenais, however, it must be 
said, always profited by this favor to excuse the pretended 
faults of her sister. 



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THE DENIS FAMILY. 89 

Although it was scarcely eleven o'clock in the morning the 
two sisters were dressed as if for a ball, and carried all the 
trinkets they possessed on their necks, arms, and ears. 

This apparition, so conformable to the idea which D'Har- 
mental had formed beforehand of the daughters of his land- 
lady, gave him a new subject for reflection. Since the Demoi- 
selles Denis were so exactly what they ought to be, that is to 
say, in such perfect harmony with their position and educa- 
tion, why was Bathilde, who seemed their equal in rank, as 
visibly distinguished as they were vulgai'? Whence came 
this immense difference between girls of the same class and 
age ? There must be some secret, which the chevalier would 
no doubt know some day or other. A second pressure of the 
Abb^ Brigand's foot against his made him understand that, 
however true his reflections were, he had chosen a bad 
moment for abandoning himself to them. Indeed, Madame 
Denis took so sovereign an air of dignity that D'Harmental 
saw that he had not an instant to lose if he wished to efface 
from her mind the bad impression which his distraction had 
caused. 

" Madame," said he directly, with the most gracious air he 
could assume, " that which I already see of your family fills 
me with the most lively desire to know the rest. Is not your 
son at home, and shall I not have the pleasure of seeing him ? " 

" Monsieur," answered Madame Denis, to whom so amiable 
an address had restored all her good humor, " my son is with 
Mr. Joulu, his master; and unless his business brings him 
this way it is improbable that he will make your acquaint- 
ance.'* 

" Farhleu ! my dear pupil," said the Abb^ Brigand, extend- 
ing his hand towards the door ; " you are like Aladdin. It is 
enough for you to express a wish, and it is fulfilled." 

Indeed, at this moment they heard on the staircase the song 
about Marlborough, which at this time had all the charm of 
novelty; the door was thrown open, and gave entrance to a 
boy with a laughing face, who much resembled Mademoiselle 
Athena'is. 

" Good, good, good," said the newcomer, crossing his arms, 
and remarking the ordinary number of his family increased 
by the abb^ and the chevalier. "Not bad, Madame Denis; 
she sends Boniface to his office with a bit of bread and cheese, 
saying, ' Beware of indigestion,' and, in his absence, she gives 



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90 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

feasts and suppers. Luckily, poor Boniface has a good nose. 
He comes through the Rue Montmartre ; he snuffs the wind and 
says, ' What is going on there at No. 5, Rue du Temps-Perdu ? ' 
So he came, and here he is. Make a place for one.'' 

And, joining the action to the word, Boniface drew a chair 
to the table, and sat down between the abb^ and the chevalier. 

" Monsieur Boniface,'^ said Madame Denis, trying to assume 
a severe air, " do you not see that there are strangers here ? *' 

" Strangers ! " said Boniface, taking a dish from the table, 
and setting it before himself ; " and who are the strangers ? 
Are you one, Papa Brigand ? Are you one, Monsieur Raoul ? 
You are hot a stranger, you are a lodger." And, taking a 
knife and fork, he set to work in a manner to make up for 
lost time. 

« Fcurdieu ! madame," said the chevalier, " I see with pleas- 
ure that I am further advanced than I thought I was. I did 
not know that I had the honor of being known to Monsieur 
Boniface." 

" It would be odd if I did not know you," said the lawyer's 
clerk, with his mouth full ; " you have got my bedroom. " 

« How, Madame Denis ! " said D'Harmental, " and you 
left me in ignorance that I had the honor to succeed in my 
room to the heir-apparent of your family ? I am no longer 
astonished to find my room so gaily fitted up ; I recognize the 
cares of a mother." 

" Yes, much good may it do you ; but I have one bit of 
advice to give you. Don't look out of window too much." 

" Why ? " asked D'Harmental. 

" Why ? because you have a certain neighbor opposite you." 

" Mademoiselle Bathilde," said the chevalier, carried away 
by his first impulse. 

" Ah ! you know that already ? " answered Boniface ; " good, 
good, good ; that will do." 

" Will you be quiet, monsieur ! " cried Madame Denis. 

" Listen ! " answered Boniface ; " one must inform one's 
lodgers when one has prohibited things about one's house. 
You are not in a lawyer's office ; you do not know that." 

" The child is full of wit," said the Abb^ Brigand in that 
bantering tone, thanks to which it was impossible to know 
whether he was serious or not. 

" But," answered Madame Denis, " what would you have in 
common between Monsieur Raoul and Bathilde ? " 



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THE DENIS FAMILY. 91 

" What in common ? Why, in a week he will be madly in 
love with her, and it is not worth loving a coquette." 

" A coquette ? " said D'HarmentaJ. 

" Yes, a coquette, a coquette," said Boniface ; " I have said it 
and I do not draw back. A coquette, who flirts with the 
young men and lives with an old one, without counting that 
little brute of a Mirza, who eats up all my bonbons, and now 
bites me every time she meets me." 

" Leave the room, mesdemoiselles," cried Madame Denis, 
rising and making her daughters rise also. << Leave the room. 
Ears so pure as yours ought not to hear such things." 

And she pushed Mademoiselle Athenais and Mademoiselle 
Emilie towards the door of their room, where she entered 
with them. 

As to D'Harmental, he felt a violent desire to break Boni- 
face's head with a wine bottle. Nevertheless, seeing the 
absurdity of the situation, he made an effort and restrained 
himself. 

" But," said he, " I thought that the bourgeois whom I saw 
on the terrace — for no doubt it is of him that you speak, 
Monsieur , Boniface '' — 

" Of himself, the old rascal ; what did you think of him ?" 

" That he was her father." 

'^ Her father ! not quite. Mademoiselle Bathilde has no 
father." 

" Then, at least, her uncle ? " 

"Her uncle after the Bretagne fashion, but in no other 
manner." 

" Monsieur," said Madame Denis, majestically coming out 
of the room, to the most distant part of which she had 
doubtless consigned her daughters, " I have asked you, once 
for all, not to talk improprieties before your sisters." 

" Ah, yes," said Boniface, " my sisters ; do you believe 
that, at their age, they cannot understand what I said, par- 
ticularly Emilie, who is three-and-twenty years old ? " 

" Emilie is as innocent as a new-born child," said Madame 
Denis, seating herself between Brigand and D'Harmental. 

" I should advise you not to reckon on that. I found a 
pretty romance for Lent in our innocent's room. I will 
show it to you, P^re Brigand ; you are her confessor, and 
we shall see if you gave her permission to read her prayers 
from it." 



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92 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL, 

" Hold your tongue, mischief-maker," said the abb^ ; " do 
you not see how you are grieving your mother ? " 

Indeed Madame Denis, ashamed at this scene passing 
before a young man on whom, with a mother's foresight, she 
had already begun to cast an eye, was nearly fainting. There 
is nothing in which men believe less than in women's faint- 
ings, and nothing to which they give way more easily. Whether 
he believed in it or not, D'Harmental was too polite not to 
show his hostess some attention in such circumstances. He 
advanced towards her with his arms extended. Madame 
Denis no sooner saw this support offered to her than she let 
herself fall, and, throwing her head back, fainted in the 
chevalier's arms. 

" Abb^," said D'Harmental, while Boniface profited by the 
circumstance to fill his pockets with all the bonbons left on 
the table, " bring a chair." 

The abb^ pushed forward a chair with the nonchalance of 
a man familiar with such accidents, and who is beforehand 
quite secure as to the result. 

They seated Madame Denis, and D'Harmental gave her 
some salts, while the Abbe Brigand tapped her softly in the 
hollow of the hand ; but, in spite of these cares, Madame 
Denis did not appear disposed to return to herself ; when 
all at once, when they least expected it, she started to her 
feet as if by a spring, and gave a loud cry. 

D'Harmental thought that a fit of hysterics was following 
the fainting. He was truly frightened, there was such an 
accent of reality in the scream that the poor woman gave. 

"It is nothing," said Boniface, "I have only just emptied 
the water-bottle down her back. That is what brought her 
to ; you saw that she did not know how to manage it. Well, 
what ? " continued the pitiless fellow, seeing Madame Denis 
look angrily at him ; "it is I ; do you not recognize me, 
Mother Denis? It is your little Boniface, who loves you 
so." 

"Madame," said D'Harmental, much embarrassed at the 
situation, " I am truly distressed at what has passed." 

" Oh ! monsieur," cried Madame Denis in tears, " I am indeed 
unfortunate." 

" Come, come ; do not cry, Mother Denis, you are already 
wet enough," said Boniface ; " you had better go and change 
your linen j there is nothing so unhealthy as wet clothes." 



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THE DENIS FAMILY, 93 

"The child is full of sense," said Brigaud, "and I think 
you had better follow his advice." 

"If I might join my prayers to those of the abb^," said 
D'Harmental, "I should beg you, madame, not to inconven- 
ience yourself for us. Besides, we are just going to take 
leave of you." 

" And you, also, abb^ ? " said Madame Denis, with a dis- 
tressed look at Brigaud. 

" As for me," said Brigaud, who did not seem to fancy the 
part of comforter, " I am expected at the H6tel Colbert, and 
I must leave you." 

" Adieu, then," said Madame Denis, making a courtesy, but 
the water trickling down her clothes took away a great part 
of its dignity. 

" Adieu, mother," said Boniface, throwing his arms round 
her neck with the assurance of a spoiled child. " Have you 
nothing to say to Maitre Joulu ? " 

" Adieu, mauvais sujety^ replied the poor woman, embrac- 
ing her son, and yielding to that attraction which a mother 
cannot resist ; " adieu and be steady." 

" As an image, mother, on condition that you will give us 
a nice little dish of sweets for dinner." 

He joined the Abbe Brigaud and D'Harmental, who were 
already on the landing. 

" Well, well," said the abbe, lifting his hand quickly to his 
waistcoat pocket, " what are you doing there ? " 

" Oh, I was only looking if there was not a crown in your 
pocket for your friend Boniface." 

*''Here," said the ahb^, "here is one, and now leave us 
alone." 

"Papa Brigaud," said Boniface, in the effusion of his 
gratitude, " you have the heart of a cardinal, and if the King 
only makes you an archbishop, on my honor you will be 
robbed of half. Adieu, Monsieur Raoul," continued he, 
addressing the chevalier as familiarly as if he had known him 
for years. " I repeat, take care of Mademoiselle Bathilde if 
you wish to keep your heart, and give some sweetmeats to 
Mirza if you care for your legs;" and holding by the 
banister, he cleared the first flight of twelve steps at one 
bound, and reached the street door without having touched a 
stair. 

Brigaud descended more quietly behind him, after having 



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94 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

given the chevalier a rendezvoas for eight o'clock in the 
evening. 

As for D'Harmentaly he went back to his attic with his head 
in a daze. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

THE GBIMSON RIBBON. 

The mind of the chevalier was occupied neither with the 
unfolding of the drama where he had chosen so important a 
part, nor with the admirable prudence of the Abbe Brigaud 
in placing him in a house which he habitually visited almost 
daily, so that his visits, however frequent, could not be 
remarkable. It was not the dignified speeches of Madame 
Denis, nor the soprano of Mademoiselle Emilie. It was 
neither the contralto of Mademoiselle Athenals, nor the tricks 
of M. Boniface. It was simply poor Bathilde, whom he had 
heard so lightly spoken of; but our reader would be mis- 
taken if he supposed that M. Boniface's brutal accusation 
had in the least degree altered the sentiments of the chevalier 
for the young girl, for an instant's reflection showed him that 
such an alliance was impossible. 

Chance might give a charming daughter to an undistin- 
guished father. Necessity may unite a young and elegant 
woman to an old and vulgar husband, but a liaison, such as 
that attributed to the young girl and the bourgeois of the 
terrace, can only result from love or interest. Now between 
these two there could be no love; and as to interest, the 
thing was still less probable, for, if they were not in absolute 
poverty, their situation was certainly not above mediocrity — 
not even that gilded mediocrity of which Horace speaks, with 
a country house at Tibur and Montmorency, and which results 
from a pension of thirty thousand sestercia from the Augus- 
tan treasury, or a government annuity of six thousand francs — 
but that poor and miserable mediocrity which only provides 
from day to day, and which is only prevented from becoming 
real poverty by incessant labor. 

D'Harmental gathered from . all this the certainty that 
Bathilde was neither the daughter, wife, nor mistress of this 
terrible neighbor, the sight of whom had sufficed to produce 



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THE CRIMSON RIBBON. 95 

such a strange reaction on the growing love of the chevalier. 
If she was neither the one nor the other, there was a mystery 
about her birth ; and if so, Bathilde was not what she appeared 
to be. All was explained, her aristocratic beauty, her finished 
education. Bathilde was above the position which she was 
temporarily forced to occupy : there had been in the destiny 
of this young girl one of those overthrows of fortune which 
are for individuals what earthquakes are for towns, and she 
had been forced to descend to the inferior sphere where he 
found her. 

The result of all this was that the chevalier might, with- 
out losing rank in his own estimation, allow himself to love 
Bathilde. When a man's heart is at war with his pride he 
seldom wants excuses to defeat his haughty enemy. Bathilde 
had now neither name nor family, and nothing prevented the 
imagination of the man who loved her from raising her to a 
height even above his own ; consequently, instead of follow- 
ing the friendly advice of M. Boniface, the first thing D'Har- 
mental did was to go to his window and inspect that of his 
neighbor. It was wide open. If, a week ago, any one had 
told the chevalier that such a simple thing as an open window 
would have made his heart beat, he would have laughed at 
the idea. However, so it was ; and after drawing a long 
breath, he settled himself in a corner, to watch at his ease 
the young girl in the opposite room, without being seen by her, 
for he was afraid of frightening her by that attention which 
she could only attribute to curiosity, but he soon perceived 
that the room was deserted. 

D'Harmental then opened his window and, at the noise he 
made in doing so, he saw the elegant head of the greyhound, 
which, with his ears always on the watch, and well worthy of 
the trust that her mistress had reposed in her in making her 
guardian of the house, was awake, and looking to see who it 
was that thus disturbed her sleep. 

Thanks to the indiscreet high-pitched voice of the good man 
of the terrace, and the malice of Boniface, the chevalier 
already knew two things very important to know — namely, 
that his neighbor was called Bathilde, a sweet and eupho- 
nious appellation suitable to a young, beautiful, and graceful 
girl ; and that the greyhound was called Mirza, a name which 
seemed to indicate a no less distinguished rank in the canine 
aristocracy. Now as nothing is to be disdained when we wish 



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96 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

to conquer a fortress, and the smallest intelligence from within 
is often more efficacious than the most terrible machines of 
war, lyHarmental resolved to commence opening communica- 
tions with the greyhound ; and with the most caressing tone 
he could give to his voice he called Mirza. Mirza, who was 
indolently lying on the cushion, raised her head quickly, with 
an expression of unmistakable astonishment ; and, indeed, it 
must have appeared strange to the intelligent little animal 
that a man so perfectly unknown to her as the chevalier should 
address her by her Christian name. She contented herself 
with fixing on him her uneasy eyes, which, in the half-light 
where she was placed, sparkled like two carbuncles, and utter- 
ing a little dull sound which might pass for a growl. 

IVHarmental remembered that the Marquis d'Uxelle had 
tamed the spaniel of Mademoiselle Choin, which was a much 
more peevish beast than any greyhound in the world, with 
roast rabbits' heads ; and that he had received for this delicate 
attention the bat6n of Mar^chal de France; and he did not 
despair of being able to soften by the same kind of attention 
the surly reception which Mademoiselle Mirza had given to his 
advances : so he went towards the sugar-basin ; thpn returned 
to the window, armed with two pieces of sugar, large enough 
to be divided ad infinitum. 

The chevalier was not mistaken ; at the first piece of sugar 
which fell near her, Mirza negligently advanced her head; 
then, being by the aid of smell made aware of the nature of 
the temptation offered to her, she extended her paw towards 
it, drew it towards her, took it in her teeth, and began to eat 
it with that languid air peculiar to the race to which she 
belonged. This operation finished, she passed over her mouth 
a little red tongue, which showed that in spite of her apparent 
indifference, which was owing, no doubt, to her excellent edu- 
cation, she was not insensible to the surprise her neighbor had 
prepared for her ; instead of lying down again on the cushion 
as she had done the first time, she remained seated, yawning 
languidly, but wagging her tail to show that she would wake 
entirely after two or three such little attentions as she had 
just had paid to her. 

D'Harmental, who was well acquainted with the habits of 
all the King Charles' dogs of the pretty women of the day, 
understood the amiable intentions of Mirza and, not wishing 
to give her time to change her mind, threw a second piece of 



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THE CRIMSON RIBBON. 97 

sugar, taking care that it should fall at such a distance as to 
oblige her to leave her cushion to get it. This test would 
decide whether she was most inclined to laziness or greediness. 
Mirza remained an instant uncertain, but then greediness car- 
ried the day, and she went across the room to fetch the piece 
of sugar, which had rolled under the harpsichord. At this 
moment a third piece fell near the window, and Mirza came 
towards it; but there the liberality of the chevalier stopped ; 
he thought that he had now given enough to require some 
return, and he contented himself with calling Mirza in a more 
imperative tone, and showing her the other pieces of sugar 
which he held in his hand. 

Mirza this time, instead of looking at the chevalier with 
uneasiness or disdain, rested her paws on the window, and 
began to behave as she would to an old acquaintance. It was 
finished ; Mirza was tamed. 

The chevalier remarked that it was now his turn to play the 
contemptuous with Mirza, and to speak to her, in order to 
accustom her to his voice ; however, fearing a return of pride 
on the part of his interlocutor, who sustained her part in the 
dialogue by little whines and grumblings, he threw her a 
fourth piece of sugar, which she seized with greater avidity 
from having been kept waiting. This time, without being 
called, she came to take her place at the window. The 
chevalier's triumph was complete. So complete that Mirza, 
who the day before had given signs of so superior an intelli- 
gence in discovering Bathilde's return, and in running to the 
door as she descended the staircase, this time discovered 
neither the onemor the other, so that her mistress, entering all 
at once, surprised her in the midst of these coquetries with her 
neighbor. It is but just to say, however, that at the noise the 
door made in opening Mirza turned and, recognizing Bathilde, 
bounded towards her, lavishing on her the most tender 
caresses ; but we must add, to the shame of the species, that 
this duty once accomplished, she hastened back to the window. 
This unusual action on the part of the dog naturally guided 
Bathilde's eyes towards the cause which occasioned it. Her 
eyes met those of the chevalier. 

Bathilde blushed ; the chevalier bowed ; and Bathilde, with- 
out knowing what she was doing, returned the salute. 

Her first impulse was to go and close the window, but an 
instinctive feeling restrained her. She understood that this 



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98 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

was giving importance to a thing which had none, and that to 
put herself on the defensive was to avow herself attacketl. 
In consequence, she crossed to that part of the room where 
her neighbor's glance could not reach. Then, at the end of a 
few minutes, when she returned, she found that he had closed 
his window. Bathilde understood that there was discretion in 
this action, and she thanked him. Indeed, the chevalier had 
just made a master-stroke. On the terms which he was on 
with his neighbor it was impossible that both windows should 
remain open at once ; if the chevalier's window was open, his 
neighbor's must be shut ; and he knew that when that was 
closed there was not a chance of seeing even the tip of Mirza's 
nose behind the curtain ; while if, on the contrary, his window 
was closed, hers might possibly remain open, and he could 
watch her passing to and fro, or working, which was a great 
amusement for a poor devil condemned to absolute seclusion ; 
besides, he had made an immense step : he had saluted Bathilde, 
and she had returned it. They were no longer strangers to 
each other, but, in order that their acquaintance might advance, 
he must be careful not to be too brusque. To risk speaking to 
her after the salute would have been risking too much ; it was 
better to allow Bathilde to believe that it was all the effect of 
chance. Bathilde did not believe it, but she appeared to do 
so. The result was that she left her window open and, seeing 
her neighbor's closed, sat down by her own with a book in her 
hand. As to Mirza, she jumped on to the stool at her mis- 
tress's feet, but instead of resting her head as usual on the 
knees of the young girl, she placed it on the sill of the window, 
so much was she occupied with the generous unknown. The 
chevalier seated himself in the middle of his room, took his 
pencils and, thanks to a corner of his curtain skilfully raised, 
he sketched the delicious picture before him. Unfortunately 
the days were short, and towards three o'clock the little light 
which the clouds and rain had permitted to descend to the 
earth began to decline, and Bathilde closed her window. 
Nevertheless, even in this short time, the chevalier had finished 
the young girl's head, and the likeness was perfect. There 
was her waving hair, her fine transparent skin, the graceful 
curve of her swan-like neck ; in fact, all to which art can 
attain with one of those inimitable models which are the 
despair of artists. 

When night closed in, the Abb^ Brigand arrived. The 



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THE CRIMSON RIBBON. 99 

chevalier and he wrapped themselves in their mantles and 
went towards the Palais Royal ; they had, it will be remem- 
bered, to examine the ground. The house in which Madame 
de Sabran lived, since her husband had been named mattre 
d^hotel to the Regent, was No. 22, between Hdtel de la 
Roche-Guyon and the passage formerly called Passage du 
Palais Royal, because it was the only one leading from the 
Rue des Bons-Enfans to the Rue de Valois. This passage, 
now called Passage du Lyc^e, was closed at the same time 
as the other gates of the garden; that is to say, at eleven 
o'clock in the evening; therefore, having once entered a 
house in the Rue des Bons-Enfans, unless it had a second 
door opening on the Rue de Valois, no one could return to 
the Palais Royal after eleven o'clock without making the 
round, either by the Rue Neuve des Petits Champs or by 
the Cour des Fontaines. 

Thus it was with Madame de Sabran's house; it was an 
exquisite little hotel, built towards the end of the last cen- 
tury, some five-and-twenty years before, by a merchant who 
wished to ape the great lords and have a petite maison of 
his own. It was a one-storied house, with a stone gallery, 
on which the servants^ attics opened, and surmounted by a 
low tilted roof. Under the first-floor windows was a large 
balcony which jutted out three or four feet, and extended 
right across the house; but some iron ornaments similar to 
the balcony, and which reached to the terrace, separated the 
two windows on each side from the three in the centre, as is 
often done when it is desired to interrupt exterior communi- 
cations. The two facades were exactly similar, only, as the 
Rue de Valois was eight or ten feet lower than that of the 
Bons-Enfans, the ground-floor windows and door opened on 
a terrace, where was a little garden, filled in spring with 
charming flowers, but which did not communicate with the 
street, the only entrance being, as we have said, in the Rue 
des Bons-Enfans. 

This was all our conspirators could wish ; the Regent, once 
entered into Madame de Sabran's house, would — provided 
he stayed after eleven o'clock, which was probable — be taken 
as in a trap, and nothing would be easier than to carry out 
their plan in the Rue des Bons-Enfans, one of the most 
deserted and gloomy places in the neighborhood ; more- 
over, as this street was surrounded by very suspicious houses, 



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100 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

and frequented by very bad company, it was a hundred to 
one that they would not pay any attention to cries which 
were too frequent in that street to cause any uneasiness, and 
that if the watch arrived, it would be, according to the custom 
of that estimable force, long after their intervention could be 
of any avail. The inspection of the ground finished, the 
plans laid, and the number of the house taken, they separated; 
the abb^ to go to the Arsenal to give Madame du Maine an 
account of the proceedings, and D'Harmental to return to his attic. 

As on the preceding night, Bathilde's room was lighted, 
but this time the young girl was not drawing but working; 
her light was not put out till one o'clock in the morning. As 
to the good man, he had retired long before IVHarmental 
returned. The chevalier slept badly; between a love at its 
commencement and a conspiracy at its height, he naturally 
experienced some sensations little favorable to sleep; but 
towards morning fatigue prevailed, and he only awoke on 
feeling himself violently shaken by the arm. Without doubt 
the chevalier was at that moment in some bad dream, of which 
this appeared to him the end, for, still half asleep, he stretched 
out his hand towards the pistols which were at his side. 

" Ah, ah ! " cried the abbe, " an instant, young man. What 
a hurry you are in ! Open your eyes wide — so. Do you not 
recognize me ? " 

" Ah ! '' said D'Harmental, laughing, " it is you, abb^. You 
did well to stop me. I dreamed that I was arrested." 

"A good sign," said the Abbe Brigand; "you know that 
dreams always go by contraries. All will go well." 

" Is there anything new ? " asked lyHarmental. 

" And if there were, how would you receive it ? " 

" I should be enchanted. A thing of this kind once under- 
taken, the sooner it is finished the better." 

"Well, then," said Brigand, drawing a paper from his 
pocket and presenting it to the chevalier, " read, and glorify 
the name of the Lord, for you have your wish." 

D'Harmental took the paper, unfolded it as calmly as if it 
were a matter of no moment, and read as follows : 

" Report of the 27th of March. 

** Two in the morning. 
" To-night at ten o'clock the Regent received a courier from 
London, who announces for to-morrow the arrival of the 



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THE CRIMSON RIBBON. 101 

Abb^ Dubois. As by chance the Regent was supping with 
madame, the despatch was given to him in spite of the late 
hour. Some minutes before, Mademoiselle de Chartres had 
asked permission of her father to perform her devotions at 
the Abbey of Chelles, and he has promised to conduct her 
there ; but on the receipt of this letter his determination was 
changed, and he has ordered the council to meet at noon. 

" At three o'clock the Regent will pay his Majesty a visit 
at the Tuileries. He has asked for a tSte-a-t6te, for he is 
beginning to be impatient at the obstinacy of the Mar^chal 
de Villeroy, who will always be present at the interviews 
between the Regent and his Majesty. Report says that if this 
obstinacy continue, it will be the worse for the marshal. 

" At six o'clock, the Regent, the Chevalier de Simiane, and 
the Chevalier de Ravanne will sup with Madame de Sabran." 

" Ah, ah ! " said D'Harmental ; and he read the last sen- 
tence, weighing every word. 

" Well, what do you think of this paragraph ? " asked the 
abb^. 

The chevalier jumped from his bed, put on his dressing- 
.gown, took from his drawer a crimson ribbon, a hammer, and 
a nail, and having opened his window (not without throwing 
a stolen glance at that of his neighbor) he nailed the ribbon 
on to the outer wall. 

" There is my answer," said he. 

" What the devil does that mean ? " 

" That means," said I^Harmental, " that you may go and 
tell Madame du Maine that I hope this evening to fulfil my 
promise to her. And now go away, my dear abbe, and do 
not come back for two hours, for I expect some one whom it 
would be better you should not meet." 

The abb^, who was prudence itself, did not wait to be told 
twice, but pressed the chevalier's hand and left him. Twenty 
minutes afterwards Captain Roquefinette entered. 



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102 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

CHAPTER XV. 

THE BUE DE8 BONS-ENFANS. 

About eight in the evening of the same day, which was 
Sunday, a considerable group of men and women, assembled 
round a street singer who was playing at the same time the 
cymbals with his knees and the tambourine with his hands, 
obstructed the entrance to the Rue de Valois. A musketeer 
and two of the light horse descended a back staircase of the 
Palais Royal and advanced towards the Passage du Lyc^e, 
which, as every one knows, opened on to that street ; but, seeing 
the crowd which barred the way, the three soldiers stopped 
and appeared to take counsel. The result of their deliberation 
was doubtless that they^ must take another route, for the 
musketeer, setting the example of a new manoeuvre, threaded 
the Cour des Fontaines, turned the corner of the Rue des Bons- 
Enfans, and walking rapidly — though he was extremely 
corpulent — arrived at No. 22, which opened as by enchant- 
ment at his approach and closed again on him and his two 
companions. 

At the moment when they commenced this little detour, 
a young man, dressed in a dark coat, wrapped in a mantle 
of the same color, and wearing a broad-brimmed hat pulled 
down over his eyes, quitted the group which surrounded the 
singer, singing himself, to the tune of Les Pendus, " Vingt- 
quatre, vingt-quatre, vingt-quatrey^ and advancing rapidly 
towards the Passage du Lyc^e, arrived at the further end in 
time to see the three illustrious vagabonds enter the house as 
we have said. He threw a glance round him, and by the 
light of one of the three lanterns which lighted, or rather 
ought to have lighted, the whole length of the street he per- 
ceived one of those immense coalheavers, with a face the 
color of soot, so well stereotyped by Greuze, who was resting 
against one of the posts of the Hotel de la Roche-Guyon, 
on which he had hung his bag. For an instant he appeared 
to hesitate to approach this man ; but the coalheaver having 
sung the same air and the same burden, he appeared to lose 
all hesitation^ and went straight to him. 



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THE RUE DES BONS-ENFANS, 103 

" Well, captain/' said the man in the cloak, " did you see 
them ? " 

" As plainly as I see you, colonel, — a musketeer and two 
light horse ; but I could not recognize them. However, as 
the musketeer hid his face in his handkerchief, I presume it 
was the Regent/' 

" Himself ; and the two light horse are Simiane and 
Ravanne/' 

"Ah, ah! my scholar," said the captain. "I shall have 
great pleasure in seeing him again : he is a good boy." 

"At any rate, captain, take care he does not recognize 
you." 

" Recognize me ! It must be the devil himself to recognize 
me, accoutred as I am. It is you, rather, chevalier, who 
should take the caution. You have an unfortunately aristo- 
cratic air, which does not suit at all with your dress. How- 
ever, there they are in the trap, and we must take care they 
do not leave it. Have our people been told ? " 

"Your people, captain. I know no more of them than 
they do of me. I quitted the group singing the burden 
which was our signal. Did they hear me? Did they 
understand me ? I know nothing of it." 

"Be easy, colonel. These fellows hear half a voice and 
understand half a word." 

Indeed, as soon as the man in the cloak had left the group, 
a strange fluctuation which he had not foreseen began to take 
place in the crowd, which appeared to be composed only of 
passers-by, so that the song was not finished, nor the collec- 
tion received. The crowd dispersed. A great many men 
left the circle singly, or two and two, turning towards each 
other with an imperceptible gesture of the hand, some by the 
Rue de Valois, some by the Cour des Fontaines, some by 
the Palais Royal itself, thus surrounding the Rue des Bons- 
Enfans, which seemed to be the centre of the rendezvous. 
In consequence of this manoeuvre, the intention of which it 
is easy to understand, there only remained before the singer 
ten or twelve women, some children, and a good bourgeois 
of about forty years old, who, seeing that the collection was 
about to begin again, quitted his place with an air of pro- 
found contempt for all these new songs, and humming an 
old pastoral which he placed infinitely above them. It seemed 
to him that several men as he passed them made him signs ; 



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104 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

but as he did not belong to any secret society or any masonic 
lodge, he went on, singing his favorite : 

**• Then let me go, 
And let me play 
Beneath the hazel-tree," 

and after having followed the Eue St. Honor^ to the Bar- 
ri^re des Deux Sergents, turned the comer and disappeared. 
Almost at the same moment the man in the cloak, who had 
been the first to leave the group, reappeared and, accosting 
the singer : 

*' My friend," said he, " my wife is ill, and your music will 
prevent her sleeping. If you have no pai-ticular reason for 
remaining here, go to the Place du Palais Eoyal, and here is 
a crown to indemnify you." 

" Thank you, my lord," replied the singer, measuring the 
social position of the giver by his generosity. " I will go 
directly. Have you any commissions for the Rue Mouffetard ? " 

"No." 

" Because I would have executed them into the bargain." 

The man went away, and as he was at once the centre and 
the cause of the meeting, all that remained disappeared with 
him. At this moment the clock of the Palais Royal struck 
nine. The young man drew from his pocket a watch, whose 
diamond setting contrasted strangely with his simple costume. 
He set it exactly, then turned and went into the Rue des 
Bons-Enfans. On arriving opposite No. 24 he found the 
coalheaver. 

" And the singer ? " asked the latter. 

" He is gone." 

" Good." 

" And the postchaise ? " asked the man in the cloak. 

" It is waiting at the comer of the Rue Baillif." 

" Have they taken the precaution of wrapping the wheels 
and horses' hoofs in rags ? " 

"Yes." 

"Very good. Now let us wait," said the man in the cloak. 

" Let us wait," replied the coalheaver. And all was silent. 

An hour passed, during which a few rare passers-by crossed 
the street at intervals, but at length it became almost deserted. 
The few lighted windows were darkened one after the other, 
and night, having now nothing to contend with but the two 



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THE RUE DES BONS-ENFANS. 106 

. lanterns, one of which was opposite the chapel of St. Clare, 
and the other at the corner of the Hue Baillif, at length 
reigned over the domain which it had long claimed. Another 
hour passed. They heard the watch in the Rue de Valois ; 
behind him, the keeper of the passage came to close the 
door. 

"Good," murmured the man in the cloak; "now we are 
sure not to be interrupted." 

"Provided," replied the coalheaver, "he leaves before 
day." 

"If he were alone, we might fear his remaining, but 
Madame de Sabran will scarcely keep all three." 

" Peste ! you are right, captain ; and I had not thought of 
it ; however, are all your precautions taken ? " 

"All." 

" And your men believe that it is a question of a bet ? " 

" They appear to believe it, at least, and we can not ask 
more." 

"Then it is well understood, captain. You and your 
people are drunk. You push me. I fall between the Regent 
and him who has his arm. I separate them. You seize on 
him and gag him, and at a whistle the carriage arrives, while 
Simiane and Ravanne are held with pistols at their throats." 

" But," answered the coalheaver, in a low voice, " if he 
declares his name." 

The man in the cloak replied, in a still lower tone, " In 
conspiracies there are no half measures. If he declares him- 
self, you must kill him." 

" Feste ! " said the coalheaver ; " let us try to prevent his 
doing so." 

There was no reply, and all was again silent. A quarter of 
an hour passed, and then the centre windows were lighted up. 

"Ah! ah! there is something new," they both exclaimed 
together. 

. At this moment they heard the step of a man, who came 
from the Rue St. Honor^, and who was preparing to go the 
whole length of the street. 

The coalheaver muttered a terrible oath ; however, the man 
came on, but whether the darkness sufficed to frighten him, 
or whether he saw something suspicious moving there, it was 
evident that he experienced some fear. As he reached the 
Hotel St. Clare, employing that old ruse of cowards who 



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106 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

wish to appear brave, be began to sing ; but as be advanced 
his voice trembled, and though the innocence of the song 
proved the serenity of his heart, on arriving opposite the pas- 
sage he began to cough, which, as we know, in the gamut of 
terror indicates a greater degree of fear than singing. Seeing, 
however, that nothing moved around him, he took courage 
and, in a voice more in harmony with his present situation 
than with the sense of the words, he began : 

" Then let me go," 

but there he stopped short, not only in his song, but in his 
walk ; for, having perceived two men standing in a doorway, 
he felt his voice and his legs fail him at once, and he drew 
up, motionless and silent. Unfortunately, at this moment a 
shadow approached the window. The coalheaver saw that a 
cry might lose all, and moved as if to spring on the passen- 
ger ; his companion held him back. 

" Captain," said he, " do not hurt this man ; '' and then, 
approaching him — " Pass on, my friend," said he, " but pass 
quickly, and do not look back." 

The singer did not wait to be told twice, but made off as 
fast as his little legs and his trembling condition allowed, so 
that in a few minutes he had disappeared at the corner of the 
Hotel de Toulouse. 

" ^T was time,'' murmured the coalheaver ; " they are opening 
the window." 

The two men drew back as far as possible into the shade. 
The window was opened, and one of the light horse appeared 
on the balcony. 

" Well ? " said a voice, which the coalheaver and his com- 
panion recognized as that of the Regent, from the interior of 
the room. " Well, Simiane, what kind of weather is it ? " 

" Oh ! " replied Simiane, " I think it snows." 

" You think it snows ? " 

" Or rains, I do not know which," continued Simiane. 

" What ! " said Ravanne, " can you not tell what is falling ? " 
and he also came on to the balcony. 

" After all," said Simiane, " I am not sure that anything is 
falling." 

" He is dead drunk," said the Regent. 

" I ! " said Simiane, wounded in his amour propre as a toper. 
'^ I dead drunk ! Come here, monseigneur, come." 



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THE RUE DES BONS-ENFANS, 107 

Though the invitation was given in a strange manner the 
Regent joined his companions, laughing. By his gait it was 
easy to see that he himself was more than warmed. 

" Ah ! dead drunk," replied Simiane, holding out his hand to 
the prince ; " well, I bet you a hundred louis that, Regent of 
France as you are, you will not do what I do." 

« You hear, monseigneur," said a female voice from the 
room ; "it is a challenge." 

" And as such I accept it." 

" Done, for a hundred louis." 

" I go halves with whoever likes," said Ravanne. 

" Bet with the marchioness," said Simiane ; " I admit no one 
into my game." 

" Nor I," said the Regent. 

« Marchioness," cried Ravanne, " fifty louis to a kiss." 

" Ask Philippe if he permits it. 

" Yes," said the Regent, " it is a golden bargain ; you are 
sure to win. Well, are you ready, Simiane ? " 

" I am ; will you follow me ? " 

'< Everywhere." 

" What are you going to do ? " 

" Look." 

" Where the devil are you going ? " 

« I am going into the Palais Royal." 

<<How?" 

" By the roofs." 

And Simiane, seizing that kind of iron fan which we have 
said separated the windows of the drawing-room from those of 
the bedrooms, began to climb like an ape. 

" Monseigneur," cried Madame de Sabran, bounding on to 
the balcony and catching the prince by the arm, ' I hope you 
will not follow." 

" Not follow ! " said the Regent, freeing himself from the 
marchioness' arm ; " do you know that I hold as a principle 
that whatever another man tries I can do ? If he goes up to 
the moon devil take me if I am not there to knock at the door 
as soon as he. Did you bet on me, Ravanne ? " 

" Yes, my prince," replied the young man, laughing. 

" Then take your kiss, you have won ; " and the Regent 
seized the iron bars, climbing behind Simiane, who, active, tall, 
and slender, was in an instant on the terrace. 



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108 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

'* But I hope you, at least, will remain, Ravanne ? " said the 
marchioness. 

'^ Long enough to claim your stakes," said the young man, 
kissing the beautiful fresh cheeks of Madame de Sabran. 
" Now, adieu," continued he, " I am monseigneur's page ; you 
understand that I must follow him." 

And Eavanne darted on to the perilous road already taken 
by his companions. The coalheaver and the man in the cloak 
uttered an exclamation of astonishment, which was repeated 
along the street as if every door had an echo. 

" Ah ! what is that ? " said Simiane, who had arrived first 
on the terrace. 

" Do you see double, drunkard ? " said the Regent, seizing 
the railing of the terrace, " it is the watch, and you will get 
us taken to the guard-house ; but I promise you I will leave 
you there." 

At these words those who were in the street were silent, 
hoping that the duke and his companions would push the 
joke no further but would come down and go out by the 
ordinary road. 

" Oh ! here I am," said the Regent, landing on the terrace ; 
" have you had enough, Simiane ? " 

" No, monseigneur," replied Simiane ; and bending down to 
Ravanne, "that is not the watch," continued he, "not a 
musket — not a jerkin." 

" What is the matter ? " asked the Regent. 

"Nothing," replied Simiane, making a sign to Ravanne, 
" except that I continue my ascent, and invite you to follow 
me." 

And at these words, holding out his hand to the Regent, he 
began to scale the roof, drawing him after him. Ravanne 
brought up the rear. 

At this sight, as there was no longer any doubt of their 
intention, the coalheaver uttered a malediction, and the mau 
in the cloak a cry of rage. 

" Ah I ah ! " said the Regent, striding on the roof and look- 
ing down the street, where, by the light from the open window, 
they saw eight or ten men moving, " what the devil is that ? 
a plot ! Ah I one would suppose they wanted to scale the 
house — they are furious. I have a mind to ask them what 
we can do to help them." 

" No joking, monseigneur," said Simiane ; " let us go on." 



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THE RUE DES BONS-ENFANS. 109 

" Turn by the Hue St. Honor^/' said the man in the cloak. 
" Forward, f orward.^' 

" They are pursuing us," said Simiane ; " quick to the other 
side ; back.'' 

'< I do not know what prevents me," said the man in the 
cloak, drawing a pistol from his belt and aiming at the Eegent, 
" from bringing him down like a partridge.'' 

"Thousand furies!" cried the coalheaver, stopping him, 
" you will get us all hung and quartered." 

"But what are we to do ? " 

" Wait till they come down alone and break their necks, for, 
if Providence is just, that little surprise awaits us," 

" What an idea, Roquefinette ! " 

" Eh ! colonel ; no names, if you please." 

" You are right. Fardieu / " 

" There is no need ; let us have the idea." 

" Follow me," cried the man in the cloak, springing into the 
passage. " Let us break open the door and we will take them 
on the other side when they jump down." 

And all that remained of his companions followed him. 
The others, to the number of five or six, were already making 
for the Rue St. Honors. 

" Let us go, monseigneur," said Simiane ; " we have not a 
minute to lose ; slide on your back. It is not glorious but it is 
safe." 

"I think I hear them in the passage," said the Eegent; 
" what do you think, Ravanne ? " 

" I do not think at all," said Ravanne, " I let myself slip." 

And all three descended rapidly and arrived on the terrace. 

" Here, here ! " said a woman's voice, at the moment when 
Simiane strode over the parapet to descend his iron ladder. 

" Ah ! is it you, marchioness ? " said the Regent j " you are 
indeed a friend in need." 

" Jump in here, and quickly." 

The three fugitives sprang into the room. 

" Do 3'^ou like to stop here ? " asked Madame de Sabran. 

" Yes," said Ravanne ; " I will go and look for Canillac and 
his night-watch." 

" No, no," said the Regent ; " they will be scaling your house 
and treating it as a town taken by assault. Let us gain the 
Palais Royal." 

And they descended the staircase rapidly and opened the 



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110 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

garden door. There they heard the despairing blows of their 
pursuers against the iron gates. 

" Strike, strike, my friends," said the Regent, running with 
the carelessness and activity of a young man ; " the gate is 
solid and will give you plenty of work." 

" Quick, quick, monseigneur," cried Simiane, who, thanks to 
his great height, had jumped to the ground hanging by his 
arms, " there they are at the end of the Rue de Valois. Put 
your foot on my shoulder — now the other — and let yourself 
slip into my arms. You are saved, thank God.'' 

*« Draw your sword, Ravanne, and let us charge these 
fellows," said the Regent. 

"In the name of heaven, monseigneur," cried Simiane, 
" follow us. I am not a coward, I believe, but what you 
would do is mere folly. Here, Ravanne." 

And the young men, each taking one of the duke's arms, 
led him down a passage of the Palais Royal at the moment 
when those who were running by the Rue de Valois were at 
twenty paces from them, and when the door of the passage fell 
under the efforts of the second troop. The whole reunited 
band rushed against the gate at the moment that the three 
gentlemen closed it behind them. 

" Gentlemen," said the Regent, saluting with his hand, for 
as to his hat, heaven knows where that was ; " I hope, for the 
sake of your heads, that all this was only a joke, for you are 
attacking those who are stronger than yourselves. Beware, 
to-morrow, of the lieutenant of police. Meanwhile, good-night." 

And a triple shout of laughter petrified the two conspirators 
leaning against the gate at the head of their breathless com- 
panions. 

" This man must have a compact with Satan," cried D'Har- 
mental. 

"We have lost the bet, my friends," said Roquefinette, 
addressing his men, who stood waiting for orders, " but we do 
not dismiss you yet ; it is only postponed. As to the promised 
sum, you have already had half ; to-morrow — you know where, 
for the rest. Good evening. I shall be at the rendezvous 
to-morrow." 

All the people dispersed, and the two chiefs remained 
alone. 

"Well, colonel," said Roquefinette, looking D'Harmental 
full in the face. 



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THE RUE DES BONS-ENFANS. Ill 

"Well, captam," replied the chevalier. "I have a great 
mind to ask one thing of you/' 

" What ? " asked Roquefinette. 

" To follow me into some cross-road and blow my brains out 
with your pistol, that this miserable head may be punished 
and not recognized." 

*' Why so ? " 

" Why ? Because in such matters, when one fails one is 
but a fool. What am I to say to Madame du Maine now ? " 

" What ! " cried Roquefinette, " is it about that little hop- 
o' my-thumb that you are bothering yourself ? Fardieu / you 
are frantically susceptible, colonel. Why the devil does not 
her lame husband attend to his own affairs ? I should like to 
have seen your prude with her two cardinals and her three or 
four marquises, who are bursting with fear at this moment in 
a corner of the arsenal, while we remain masters of the field 
of battle. I should like to have seen if they would have 
climbed walls like lizards. Stay, colonel, listen to an old fox. 
To be a good conspirator, you must have, first, what you have, 
courage ; but you must also have what you have not, patience. 
Morbleu I if I had such an affair in my hands I would answer 
for it that I would bring it to a good end, and if you like to 
make it over to me we will talk of that.'' 

" But in my place," asked the colonel, " what would you 
say to Madame du Maine ? " 

" Oh ! I should say, ' My princess, the Regent must have 
been warned by his police, for he did not leave as we expected, 
and we saw none but his roue companions.' Then the Prince 
de Cellamare will say to you, 'My dear D'Harmental, we 
have no resources but in you.' Madame du Maine will say 
that all is not lost since the brave I^Harmental remains to us. 
The Count de Laval will grasp your hand trying to pay you a 
compliment which he will not finish, because since his jaw is 
broken his tongue is not active, particularly for compliments. 
The Cardinal de Polignac will make the sign of the cross. 
Alberoni will swear enough to shake the heavens, — in this 
manner you will have conciliated everybody, saved your 
amour propre, and may return to hide in your attic, which I 
advise you not to leave for three or four days if you do not 
wish to be hung. From time to time I will pay you a visit. 
You will continue to bestow on me some of the liberalities of 
Spain, because it is of importance to me to live agreeably and 



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112 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

keep up my spirits ; then, at the first opportunity we recall 
our brave fellows, and take our revenge." 

" Yes, certainly," said D^Harmental ; " that is what any 
other would do, but you see I have some foolish ideas — I 
cannot lie." 

" Whoever cannot lie cannot act," replied the captain ; " but 
what do I see there ? The bayonets of the watch ; amicable 
institution, I recognize you there ; always a quarter of an hour 
too late. But now adieu, colonel," continued he; ^< there is 
your road, we must separate," said the captain, showing the 
Passage du Palais Royal, **and here is mine," added he, 
pointing to the Rue Neuve des Petits Champs ; " go quietly, 
that they may not know that you ought to run as fast as you 
can, your hand on your hip so, and singing ^ La M^re Gaudi- 
chon.' " And the captain followed the Rue de Valois at the 
same pace as the watch, who were a hundred paces behind 
him, singing carelessly as he went : 

<* Come, come, let as march to the dram's lirely air ! " 

As for the chevalier, he re-entered the Rue des Bons-Enfans, 
now as quiet as it had been noisy ten minutes before ; and at 
the corner of the Rue Baillif he found the carriage, which, 
according to its orders, had not moved, and was waiting with 
the door open, the servant at the step, and the coachman on 
his box. 

" To the arsenal," said the chevalier. 

"It is useless," said a voice which made D'Harmental 
start ; " I know all that has passed, and I will inform those 
who ought to know. A visit at this hour would be dangerous 
for all." 

" Is it you, abb^ ? " said D'Harmental, trying to recognize 
Brigand in the livery in which he was disguised ; " you would 
render me a real service in taking the news instead of me, for 
on my honor I do not know what to say." 

« Well, I shall say," said Brigand, " that you are a brave 
and loyal gentleman, and that if there were ten like you in 
France, all would soon be finished ; but we are not here to pay 
compliments ; get in quickly — where shall I take you ? " 

" It is useless," said D'Harmental ; " I will go on foot." 

« Get in. It is safer." 

D'Harmental complied, and Brigand, dressed as he was, 
came and sat beside him. 



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JEAN BUVAT. 113 

" To the corner of the Eue du Gros Chenet and the Eue de 
Cl^ry," said the abb^. 

The coachman, impatient at having waited so long, obeyed 
quickly. At the place indicated the carriage stopped; the 
chevalier got out and soon disappeared round the corner of 
the Rue du Temps-Perdu. As to the carriage, it rolled on 
noiselessly towards the boulevards like a fairy car spurning 
the earth. 



CHAPTER XVI. 

JEAN BUVAT. 

We must now make a better acquaintance with one of the 
chief personages in this history, of whom we have scarcely 
spoken. We refer to the honest citizen whom we have seen 
quitting the group in the Rue de Valois, and making for the 
Barri^re des Sergents at the moment when the Street singer 
began his collection, and who, it will be remembered, we have 
since seen at so inopportune a moment in the Rue des Bons- 
Enfans. 

Heaven preserve us from questioning the intelligence of our 
readers, so as to doubt for a moment that they had recognized 
in the poor devil to whom the Chevalier d'Harmental had 
rendered such timely assistance the good man of the terrace in 
the Rue du Temps-Perdu. But they cannot know, unless we 
tell them in detail, what he was physically, morally, and 
socially. If the reader has not forgotten the little we have 
already told him, it will be remembered that he was from 
forty to forty-five years of age. Now as every one knows, 
after forty years of age the bourgeois of Paris entirely forgets 
the care of his person, with which he is not generally much 
occupied, a negligence from which his corporeal graces suffer 
considerably, particularly when, as in the present instance, his 
appearance is not to be admired. 

Our friend was a little man of five feet four, short and fat, 
disposed to become obese as he advanced in age ; and with one 
of those placid faces where all — hair, eyebrows, eyes, and 
skin — seem of the same color ; in fact, one of those faces of 
which, at ten paces, one does not distinguish a feature. The 
most enthusiastic physiognomist, if he had sought to read on 



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114 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

this countenance some high and curious destiny would have 
been stopped in his examination as he mounted from his great 
blue eyes to his depressed forehead, or descended from his 
half-open mouth to the fold of his double chin. There he 
would have understood that he had under his eyes one of 
those heads to which all fermentation is unknown, whose 
freshness is respected by the passions, good or bad, and who 
turn nothing in the empty corners of their brain but the 
burden of some old nursery song. Let us add that Provi- 
dence, who does nothing by halves, had signed the original, of 
which we have just offered a copy to our readers, by the 
characteristic name of Jean Buvat. 

It is true that the persons who ought to have appreciated 
the profound nullity of spiiit and excellent qualities of heart 
of this good man, suppressed his patronymic and ordinarily 
called him Le Bonhomme Buvat. 

From his earliest youth the little Buvat, who had a marked 
repugnance for all other kinds of study, manifested a particu- 
lar inclination for caligraphy : thus he arrived every morn- 
ing at the College des Oratoriens, where his mother sent him 
gratis, with his exercises and translations full of faults, but 
written with a neatness, a regularity, and a beauty which it 
was charming to see. The little Buvat was whipped every 
day for the idleness of his mind, and received the writing- 
prize every year for the skill of his hand. At fifteen years of 
age he passed from the Epitome Sacrse, which he had 
recommenced five times, to the Epitome GrsBCse ; but the pro- 
fessor soon perceived that this was too much for him, and put 
him back for the sixth time in the Epitome Sacrae. Passive 
as he appeared, young Buvat was not wanting in a certain 
pride. He came home in the evening crying to his mother, 
and complaining of the injustice which had been done him, 
declaring in his grief, a thing which till then he had been 
careful not to confess, namely, that there were in the school 
children of ten years old more advanced than he was. 

Widow Buvat, who saw her son start every morning with 
his exercises perfectly neat (which led her to believe that 
there could be no fault to be found with them), went the next 
day to abuse the good fathers. They replied that her son 
was a good boy, incapable of an evil thought towards God, 
or a bad action towards his neighbor ; but that, at the same 
time, he was so awfully stupid that they advised her to 



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JEAN BUVAT. 115 

develop, by making him a writing-master, the only talent with 
which nature had blessed him. This counsel was a ray of 
light for Madame Buvat ; she understood that, in this manner, 
the benefit she should derive from her son would be imme- 
diate. She came back to her house, and communicated to her 
son the new plans she had formed for him. Young Buvat 
saw in this only a means of escaping the castigation which he 
received every morning, for which the prize, bound in calf, 
that he received every year was not a compensation. 

He received the propositions of his mother with great joy ; 
promised her that, before six months were over, he would be 
the first writing-master in the capital ; and the same day, after 
having, from his little savings, bought a knife with four 
blades, a packet of quills, and two copy-books, set himself to 
the work. The good Oratoriens were not deceived as to the 
true vocation of young Buvat. Caligraphy was with him an 
art which almost became drawing. At the end of six months, 
like the ape in the Arabian Nights, he wrote six kinds of 
writing; and imitated men's faces, trees, and animals. At 
the end of a year he had made such progress that he thought 
he might now give out his prospectus. He worked at it for 
three months, day and night ; and almost lost his sight over 
it. At the end of that time he had accomplished a chef- 
d^cauvre. 

It was not a simple writing, but a real picture representing 
the creation of the world, and divided almost like The 
Transfiguration of Raphael. In the upper part, consecrated to 
Eden, was the Eternal Father drawing Eve from the side of 
the sleeping Adam, and surrounded by those animals which 
the nobility of their nature brings near to man, such as the 
lion, the horse, and the dog. At the bottom was the sea, in 
the depths of which were to be seen swimming the most fan- 
tastic fishes, and on the surface a superb three-decked vessel. 
On the two sides, trees full of birds put the heavens, which 
they touched with their topmost branches, in communication 
with the earth, which they grasped with their roots; and in 
the space left in the middle of all this, in the most perfectly 
horizontal line, and reproduced in six different writings, was the 
adverb " pitilessly." This time the artist was not deceived ; 
the picture produced the effect which he expected. A week 
afterwards young Buvat had five male and two female scholars. 
His reputation increased ; and Madame Buvat, after some time 



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116 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

passed in greater ease than she had known even in her hus- 
band's lifetime, had the satisfaction of dying perfectly secure 
aboat her son's future. 

As to him, after having sufficiently mourned his mother, 
he pursued the course of his life, one day exactly like the 
other. He arrived thus at the age of twenty-six or twenty- 
seven, having passed the stormy part of existence in the 
eternal calm of his innocent and virtuous good nature. It 
was about this time that the good man found an opportunity 
of doing a sublime action, which he did instinctively and 
simply, as he did everything; but perhaps a man of mind 
might have passed it over without seeing it, or turned away 
from it if he had seen it. There was in the house No. 6, 
in the Rue des Orties, of which Buvat occupied the attic, a 
young couple who were the admiration of the whole quarter 
for the harmony in which they lived. They appeared made 
for each other. The husband was a man of from thirty-four 
to thirty-five years of age, of a southern origin, with black 
eyes, beard, and hair, sunburnt complexion, and teeth like 
pearls. He was called Albert du Rocher, and was the son of 
an ancient C^venol chief, who had been forced to turn Catho- 
lic, with all his family, at the persecutions of Monsieur B^ville ; 
and half from opposition, half because youth seeks youth, he 
had entered the household of M. le Due de Chartres, which 
was being reformed just at that time, having suffered much in 
the campaign preceding the battle of Steinkirk, where the 
prince had made his d^but in arms. Du Rocher had obtained 
the place of La Neuville, who had been killed in that charge 
which, conducted by the Due de Chartres, had decided the 
victory. 

The winter had interrupted the campaign, but in the spring 
M. de Luxembourg had recalled all those officers who shared 
their life between war and pleasure. The Due de Chartres, 
always eager to draw a sword which the jealousy of Louis 
XIV. had so often replaced in the scabbard, was one of the 
first to answer this appeal. Du Rocher followed him with 
all his military household. The great day of Nerwinden 
arrived. The Due de Chartres had, as usual, the command 
of the guards; as usual he charged at their head, but so 
furiously that five times he found himself almost alone in the 
midst of the enemy. At the fifth time he had near him 
only a young man whom he scarcely knew : but in the rapid 



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JEAN BUVAT. IIT 

glance wluch lie cast on him he recognized one of those spirits 
on whom we may rely, and instead of yielding, as a brigadier 
of the enemy's army, who had recognized him, proposed to 
him, he blew the proposer's brains out with his pistol. At the 
same instant two shots were fired, one of which took off the 
prince's hat, and the other turned from the handle of his 
sword* Scarcely had these two shots been fired when those 
who had discharged them fell simultaneously, thrown down by 
the prince's companion — one by a sabre-stroke, the other by a 
bullet. A general attack took place on these two men, who 
were miraculously saved from any ball. The prince's horse, 
however, fell under him. The young man who was with him 
jumped from his, and offered it to him. 

The prince hesitated to accept this service, which might 
cost him who rendered it so dear ; but the young man, who 
was tall and powerful, thinking that this was not a moment to 
exchange politenesses, took the prince in his arms and forced 
him into the saddle. At this moment, M. d'Arcy, who had 
lost his pupil in the mSlee, and who was seeking for him with 
a detachment of light horse, came up, just as, in spite of their 
courage, the prince and his companion were about to be killed 
or taken. Both were without wound, although the prince had 
received four bullets in his clothes. The Due de Chartres held 
out his hand to his companion, and asked him his name ; for, 
although his face was known to him, he had been so short a 
time in his service that he did not remember his name. The 
young man replied that he was called Albert du Rocher, and 
that he had taken the place of La Neuville, who was killed at 
Steinkirk. 

Then, turning towards those who had just arrived : 

"Gentlemen," said the prince, "you have prevented me 
from being taken, but this gentleman," pointing to Du Rocher, 
" has saved me from being killed." 

At the end of the campaign, the Due de Chartres named 
Du Rocher his first equerry, and, three years afterwards, 
having retained the grateful affection which he had vowed to 
him, he married him to a young person whom he loved, and 
gave her a dowry. 

As M. le Due de Chartres was still but a young man, this 
dowry was not large, but he promised to take charge of the 
advancement of his prot^g^. This young person was of 
English origin ; her mother had accompanied Madame Hen- 



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118 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

riette when she came to France to marry Monsieur ; and after 
that princess had been poisoned by the Chevalier d'Effiat she 
had passed^ as lady-in-waiting, into the service of the Grand 
Dauphine ; but, in 1690, the Grand Dauphine died, and the 
Englishwoman, in her insular pride, refused to stay with 
Mademoiselle Ohoin, and retired to a little country house 
which she hired near St. Cloud, where she gave herself up 
entirely to the education of her little Clarice. It was in the 
journeys of the Due de Chartres to St. Cloud that Du Rocher 
made acquaintance with this young girl whom, as we have 
said, he married in 1697. It was, then, these young people 
who occupied the first floor of the house of which Buvat had 
the attic. The young couple had first a son, whose caligraphic 
education was confided to Buvat from the age of four years. 
The young pupil was making the most satisfactory progress 
when he was carried off by the measles. The despair of the 
parents was great ; Buvat shared it, the more sincerely that 
his pupil had shown such aptitude. This sympathy for their 
grief, on the part of a stranger, attached them to him ; and 
one day, when the young man was complaining of the preca- 
rious future of artists, Albert du Rocher proposed to him to 
use his influence to procure him a place at the government 
library. Buvat jumped with joy at the idea of becoming a 
public functionary ; and, a month afterwards, Buvat received 
his brevet as employee at the library, in the manuscript depart- 
ment, with a salary of nine hundred livres a year. l>om this 
day Buvat, in the pride natural to his new position, neglected 
his scholars, and gave himself up entirely to the preparation 
of forms. Nine hundred livres, secured to the end of his life, 
was quite a fortune, and the worthy writer, thanks to the royal 
munificence, began to lead a life of ease and comfort, promis- 
ing his good neighbors that if they had a second child no one 
but himself should teach him to write. On their parts, the 
poor parents wished much to give this increase of occupation 
to the worthy writer. God heard their desire. Towards the 
termination of 1702 Clarice was delivered of a daughter. 

Great was the joy through the whole house. Buvat did not 
feel at all at his ease ; he ran up and down stairs, beating his 
thighs with his hands, and singing below his breath the bur- 
den of his favorite song, " Then let me go, and let me play," 
etc. That day, for the first time since he had been appointed, 
that is to say, during two years, he arrived at his office at a 



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JEAN BUVAT. 119 

quarter past ten^ instead of ten o'clock exactly. A supernu- 
merary, who thought that he must be dead, had asked for his 
place. 

The little Bathilde was not a week old before Buvat wished 
to begin teaching her her strokes and pot-hooks, saying that 
to learn a thing well it is necessary to commence young. It 
was with the greatest difficulty that he was made to under- 
stand that he must wait till she was two or three years old. 
He resigned himself ; but, in expectation of that time, he set 
about preparing copies. At the end of three years Clarice 
kept her word, and Buvat had the satisfaction of solemnly 
putting her first pen into the hands of Bathilde. 

It was the beginning of the year 1707, and the Due de 
Chartres had become Due d' Orleans, by the death of Monsieur, 
and had at last obtained a command in Spain, where he was 
to conduct the troops to the Mar^chal de Berwick. Orders 
were directly given to all his military household to hold them- 
selves in readiness for the 5th of March. As first equerry, it 
was necessary that Albert should accompany the prince. 
This news, which would have formerly given him the highest 
joy, made him now almost sad, for the health of Clarice began 
to fill him with the greatest uneasiness ; and the doctor had 
allowed the word "consumption" to escape him. Whether 
Clarice felt herself seriously attacked, or whether, more 
natural still, she feared only for her husband, her burst of 
grief was so wild that Albert himself could^ not help crying 
with her, and little Bathilde and Buvat cried because they saw 
the others cry. 

The 5th of March arrived ; it was the day fixed for the 
departure. In spite of her grief, Clarice had busied herself 
with her husband's outfit, and had wished that it was worthy 
of the prince whom he accompanied. Moreover, in the midst 
of her tears a ray of proud joy lit up her face when she saw 
Albert in his elegant uniform and on his noble war-horse. 
As to Albert, he was full of hope and pride ; the poor wife 
smiled sadly at his dreams for the future ; but in order not to 
dispirit him at this moment she shut her grief up in her own 
heart and, silencing her fears which she had for him, and, 
perhaps, also those which she experienced for herself, she was 
the first to say to him, " Think not of me, but of your honor." 

The Due d'Orleans and his corps d^armee entered Catalonia 
in the first days of April, and advanced directly, by forced 



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120 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

marches, across Arragon. On arriving at Segorbe, the duke 
learnt that the Marshal de Berwick held himself in relEidiness 
for a decisive battle ; and in his eagerness to arrive in time to 
take part in the action, he sent Albert on at full speed, 
charging him to tell the marshal that the Due d'Orleans was 
coming to his aid with ten thousand men, and to pray that if 
it did not interfere with his arrangements he would wait for 
him before joining battle. 

Albert left, but bewildered in the mountains, and misled by 
ignorant guides, he was only a day before the army, and he 
arrived at the marshal's camp at the very moment when the 
engagement was going to commence. Albert asked where the 
marshal was ; tibey showed his position, on the left of 
the army on a little hill, from which he overlooked the whole 
plain. The Due de Berwick was there surrounded by his 
staff ; Albert put his horse to the gallop, and made straight 
towards him. 

The messenger introduced himself to the marshal and told 
him the cause of his coming. The marshal's only answer 
was to point to the field of battle and tell him to return to 
the prince and inform him what he had seen. But Albert 
had smelt powder, and was not willing to leave thus. He 
asked permission to wait till he could at least give him the 
n^ws of a victory. At that moment a charge of dragoons 
seemed necessary to the marshal ; he told one of his aides-de- 
camp to carry the order to charge to the colonel. The young 
man started at a gallop, but he had scarcely gone a third of 
the distance which separated the hill from the position of the 
regiment when his head was cafried off by a cannon ball. 
Scarcely had he fallen from his stirrups when Albert, seizing 
this occasion to take part in the battle, set spurs to his horse, 
transmitted the order to the colonel and, instead of returning 
to the marshal, drew his sword, and charged at the head of 
the regiment. 

The charge was one of the most brilliant of the day and 
penetrated so completely to the heart of the imperial guard 
that they began to give way. The marshal had involuntarily 
watched the young officer throughout the m§l^e, recognizing 
him by his uniform. He saw him arrive at the enemy's 
standard, engage in a personal contest with him who carried 
it; then, when the regiment had taken flight, he saw him 
returning with his conquest in his arms. On reaching the 



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JEAN BUVAT. 121 

marshal he threw the colors at his feet; opening his mouth 
to speak, instead of words, it was blood that came to his lips. 
The marshal saw him totter in his saddle, and advanced to 
support him, but before he had time to do so Albert had 
fallen ; a ball had pierced his breast. The marshal sprung 
from his horse, but the brave young man lay dead on the 
standard he had just taken. The Due d'Orleans arrived the 
day after the battle. He regretted Albert as one regrets a 
gallant gentleman ; but, after all, he had died the death of 
the brave, in the midst of victory, and on the colors he him- 
self had taken. What more could be desired by a Frenchman, 
a soldier, and a gentleman ? 

The duke wrote with his own hand to the poor widow. If 
anything could console a wife for the death of her husband it 
would doubtless be such a letter ; but poor Clarice thought 
but of one thing, that she had no longer a husband and that her 
child had no longer a father. At four o'clock Buvat came in 
from the library ; they told him that Clarice wanted him, and 
he went down directly. The poor woman did not cry, she did 
not complain ; she stood tearless and speechless, her eyes fixed 
and hollow as those of a maniac. When Buvat entered, she 
did not even turn her head towards him, but merely holding 
out her hand she presented him the letter. Buvat looked 
right and left to endeavor to find out what was the matter, 
but seeing nothing to direct his conjectures he looked at the 
paper and read aloud : 

" Madame : 

" Your husband has died for France and for me. Neither 
France nor I can give you back your husband ; but remember 
that if ever you are in want of anything we are both your 
debtors. 

« Your affectionate, 

" Philippe d'Oblbans." 

" What ! '' cried Buvat, fixing his great eyes on Clarice. 
" M. du Rocher — it is not possible ! '' 

"Papa is dead," said little Bathilde, leaving the comer 
where she was playing with her doll, and running to her 
mother ; " is it true that papa is dead ? '' 



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122 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

" Alas ! yes, my dear child I " said Clarice, finding at once 
words and tears. " Oh, yes, it is true ; it is but too true, 
unhappy that we are ! '^ 

<' Madame," said Buvat, who had been seeking for some 
consolation to offer, " you must not grieve thus ; perhaps it is 
a false report." 

" Do you not see that the letter is from the Due d'Orleans 
himself ? " cried the poor widow. " Yes, my child, your father 
is dead. Weep, my child ; perhaps in seeing your tears God 
will have pity on me ; " and saying these things the poor 
widow coughed so painfully that Buvat felt his own breast 
torn by it, but his fright was still greater when he saw that 
the handkerchief which she drew from her mouth was covered 
with blood. Then he understood that a greater misfortune 
threatened Bathilde than that which had just befallen her. 

The apartments which Clarice occupied were now too large 
for her. No one was astonished when she left them for 
smaller ones on the second floor. Besides her grief, which 
annihilated all her other faculties, Clarice felt, in common 
with all other noble hearts, a certain unwillingness to ask, 
even from her country, a reward for the blood which had 
been spilt for it, particularly when that blood is still warm, 
as was that of Albert. The poor widow hesitated to present 
herself to the minister-at-war to ask for her due. At the end 
of three months, when she took courage to make the first 
steps, the taking of Requena and that of Saragossahad already 
thrown into the shade the battle of Almanza. Clarice showed 
the prince's letter. The secretary replied that with such a 
letter she could not fail in obtaining what she wanted, but 
that she must wait for his Highness' return. Clarice looked 
in a glass at her emaciated face, and smiled sadly. 

"Wait!" said she; "yes, it would be better, but God 
knows if I shall have the time." 

The result of this repulse was that Clarice left her lodging 
on the second floor for two little rooms on the third. The 
poor widow had no other forttine than her husband's savings. 
The little dowry which the duke had given her had disap- 
peared in the purchase of furniture and her husband's outfit. 
As the new lodging which she took was much smaller than 
the other, no one was astonished that Clarice sold part of her 
furniture. 



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JEAN BUVAT. 123 

The return of the Due d'Orleans was expected in the 
autumn, and Clarice counted on this to ameliorate her situa- 
tion ; but, contrary to the usual custom, the army, instead of 
taking winter quarters, continued the campaign, and news 
arrived that, instead of returning, the duke was about to lay 
siege to Lerida. Now, in 1647, the great Cond^ himself had 
failed before Lerida, and the new siege, even supposing that 
it ever came to a successful issue, threatened to be of a 
terrible length. 

Clarice risked some new advances. This time they had 
forgotten even her husband's name. She had again recourse 
to the prince's letter, which had its ordinary effect ; but they 
told her that after the siege of Lerida the duke could not fail 
to return, and the poor widow was again obliged to wait 

She left her two rooms for a little attic opposite that of 
Buvat, and she sold the rest of her furniture, only keep- 
ing a table, some chairs, Bathilde's little cot, and a bed for 
herself. 

Buvat had seen, without taking much notice, these frequent 
removals, but it was not very difficult to understand his neigh- 
bor's situation. Buvat, who was a careful man, had some 
savings which he had a great wish to put at his neighbor's 
service ; but Clarice's pride increased with her poverty, and 
poor Buvat had never yet dared to make the offer. Twenty 
times he had gone to her with a little rouleau, which con- 
tained his whole fortune of fifty or sixty louis, but every time 
he left without having dared to take it out of his pocket; 
but one day it happened that Buvat, descending to go to 
business, having met the landlord, who was making his 
quarterly round, and guessing that his neighbor might be 
embarrassed even for so small a sum, took the proprietor into 
his own room, saying that the day before Madame du Rocher 
had given him the money that he might get both receipts 
at once. The landlord, who had feared a delay on the part 
of his tenant, did not care from whence the money came, and 
willingly gave the two receipts. 

Buvat, in the naivete of his soul, was tormented by this 
good action as by a crime. He was three or four days with- 
out daring to present himself to his neighbor, so that when 
he returned he found her quite affected by what she thought 
an act of indifference on his part. Buvat found Clarice so 
much changed during these few days that he left her wiping 



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124 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

his eyes, and for the first time he went to bed without having 
songy daring the fifteen turns he generally took in his bed- 
room: 

'^ Then let me go," etc., 

which was a proof of melancholy pre-occupation. 

The last days of winter passed, and brought, in passing, 
the news that Lerida had surrendered, and that the young 
and indefatigable general was about to besiege Tortosa. 
This was the last blow for poor Claiice. She understood 
that spring was coming, and with it a new campaign, which 
would retain the duke with the army. Strength failed her, 
and she was obliged to take to her bed. 

The position of Clarice was frightful. She did not deceive 
herself as to her illness. She felt that it was mortal, and she 
had no one in the world to whom she could recommend her 
child. The poor woman feared death, not on her own 
account, but on her daughter's, who would not have even 
the stone of her mother's tomb to rest her head on, for the 
unfortunate have no tomb. Her husband had only distant 
relations, from whom she could not solicit aid ; as to her 
own family born in France, where her mother died, she had 
not even known them ; besides, she tmderstood that if there 
were any hope from that quarter there was no longer the 
time to seek it. Death was approaching. 

One night Buvat, who the evening before had left Clarice 
devoured by fever, heard her groaning so deeply that he 
jumped from his bed and dressed himself to go and offer 
her help; but on arriving at the door he did not dare to 
enter or to knock — Clarice was sobbing and praying aloud. 
At this moment Bathilde woke and called her mother. 
Clarice drove back her tears, took her child from the cradle, 
and placing her on her knees on her own bed, made her 
repeat what prayers she knew, and between each of them 
Buvat heard her cry in a sad voice : 

" Oh, my God! listen to my poor child ! '' 

There was in this nocturnal scene — the child scarcely out 
of the cradle, and a mother half way to the grave, both 
addressing the Lord as their only support in the silence of 
night — something so deeply sad that good Buvat fell on his 
knees, and inwardly swore, what he had not dared to offer 
aloud, that though Bathilde might be an orphan, yet she 



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JEAN BUVAT. 126 

should not be abandoned. God had heard the double prayers 
which had ascended to Him^ and he had granted them. 

The next day Buvat did what he had never dared to do 
before. He took Bathilde in his arms, leant his goodnatured 
round face against the charming little face of the child^ and 
said softly : 

" Be easy, poor little innocent, there are yet good people on 
the earth." 

The little girl threw her arms round his neck and kissed 
him. Buvat felt that the tears stood in his eyes, and as he 
had often heard that you must not cry before sick people, for 
fear of agitating them, he drew out his watch, and assuming 
a gruff voice to conceal his emotion ; 

" Hum, it is a quarter to ten, I must go. Good-day, Madame 
du Rocher." 

On the staircase he met the doctor, and asked him what 
he thought of the patient. As he was a doctor who came 
through charity, and did not consider himself at all bound 
to be considerate when he was not paid, he replied that in 
three days she would be dead. 

Coming back at four o'clock, Buvat found the whole house 
in commotion. The doctor had said that they must send for 
the viaticum. They had sent for the cur^, and he had arrived, 
and, preceded by the sacristan and his little bell, he had with- 
out any preparation entered the sick room. Clarice received 
it with her hands joined, and her eyes turned towards heaven; 
but the impression produced on her was not the less terrible. 
Buvat heard singing, and thought what must have happened. 
He went up directly, and found the landing and the door of 
the sick room surrounded by all the gossips of the neighbor- 
hood, who had, as was the custom at that time, followed the 
holy sacrament. Round the bed where the dying woman was 
extended, already so pale and motionless that if it had not 
been for the two great tears that ran down her cheeks she 
might have been taken for a marble statue lying on a tomb, 
the priests were singing the prayers for the dying, and in a 
corner of the room the little Bathilde, whom they had sepa- 
rated from her mother, that she might not distract her atten- 
tion during her last act of religion, was seated on the ground, 
not daring to cry, frightened at seeing so many people she did 
not know, and hearing so much she did not understand. 

As soon as she saw Buvat, the child ran to him as the only 



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126 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

person she knew in this grave assembly. Buvat took her in 
his arms^ and knelt with her near the bed of the dying 
woman. At this moment Clarice lowered her eyes from the 
heavens towards the earth. Without doubt she had been 
addressing a prayer to heaven to send a protector to her 
daughter. She saw Bathilde in the arms of the only friend 
she had in the world. With the penetrating glance of the 
dying she read this pure and devoted heart, and saw what 
he had not dared to tell her ; and as she sat up in bed she 
held out her hand to him, uttering a cry of gratitude and joy, 
such as the angels only can understand ; and, as if she had 
exhausted her remaining strength in this maternal outburst, 
she sank back fainting on the bed. 

The religious ceremony was finished. The priests retired 
first, then the pious followed; the indifferent and curious 
remained till the last. Among this number were several 
women. Buvat asked if there was none amongst them who 
knew a good sick-nurse. One of them presented herself 
directly, declared, in the midst of a chorus of her companions, 
that she had all the necessary virtues for this honorable 
situation, but that, just on account of these good qualities, she 
was accustomed to be paid a week in advance, as she was 
much sought after in the neighborhood. Buvat asked the 
price of this week. She replied that to any other it would 
be sixteen livres, but as the poor lady did not seem rich she 
would be contented with twelve. Buvat, who had just received 
his month's pay, took two crowns from his pocket and gave 
them to her without bargaining. He would have given double 
if she had asked it. 

Clarice was still fainting. The nurse entered on her duty 
by giving her some vinegar instead of salts. Buvat retired. 
As to Bathilde, she had been told that her mother was 
asleep. The poor child did not know the difference between 
sleep and death and returned to her corner to play with her 
doll. 

At the end of an hour Buvat returned to ask news of Clarice. 
She had recovered from her fainting, but though her eyes 
were open she did not speak. However, she recognized him, 
for as soon as he entered she joined her hands as if to pray, 
and then she appeared to seek for something under her bolster. 
The nurse shook her head, and approaching the patient : 

"Your pillow is very well," said she, "you must not dis- 



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JEAN BUVAT. 127 

arrange it." Then turning to Buvat, " Ah ! these sick people ! " 
added she, shrugging her shoulders, " they are always fancying 
that there is something making them uncomfortable: it is 
death, only they do not know it." 

Clarice sighed deeply, but remained motionless. The nurse 
approached her, and passed over her lips the feather of a quill 
dipped in a cordial of her own invention, which she had just 
been to fetch at the chemist's. Buvat could not support this 
spectacle ; he recommended the mother and child to the care 
of the nurse, and left. 

The next day Clarice was still worse, for though her eyes 
were open, she did not seem to recognize any one but her 
daughter, who was lying near her on the bed, and whose 
little hand she held. On her part, the child, as if she felt 
that this was the last maternal embrace, remained quiet and 
silent. On seeing her kind friend she only said, '* Mamma 
sleeps." 

It appeared to Buvat that Clarice moved as if she heard 
and recognized her child's voice, but it might have been only 
a nervous trembling. He asked the nurse if the sick woman 
had wanted anything. She shook her head, saying, " What 
would be the use ? It would be money thrown away. These 
apothecaries make quite enough already." Buvat would have 
liked to stay with Clarice, for he saw that she had not long 
to live, but he never would have thought of absenting him- 
self for a day from business unless he were dying himself. 
He arrived there, then, as usual, but so sad and melancholy 
that the King did not gain much by his presence. They 
remarked with astonishment that that day Buvat did not wait 
till four o'clock had struck to take off the false blue sleeves 
which he wore to protect his coat ; but that at the first stroke 
of the clock he got up, took his hat, and went out. The 
supernumerary, who had already asked for his place, watched 
him as he went, then, when he had closed the door, " Well I " 
said he, loud enough to be heard by the chief, " there is one 
who takes it easy." 

Buvat's presentiments were confirmed. On arriving at the 
house he asked the porter's wife how Clarice was. 

" Ah, God be thanked ! " replied she ; *' the poor woman is 
happy ; she suffers no more." 

"She is dead!" cried Buvat, with that shudder always 
produced by this terrible word. 



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128 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

" About three-quarters of an hour ago," replied she ; and 
she went on darning her stocking, and singing a merry song 
which she had interrupted to reply to Buvat. 

Buvat ascended the steps of the staircase one by one, 
stopping frequently to wipe his forehead ; then, on arriving on 
the landing, where was his room and that of Clarice, he was 
obliged to lean his head against the wall, for he felt his legs 
fail him. He stood silent and hesitating, when he thought 
he heard Bathilde's voice crying. He remembered the poor 
child, and this gave him courage. At the door, however, he 
stopped again; then he heard the groans of the little girl 
more distinctly. 

" Mamma ! " cried the child, in a little voice broken by sobs, 
" will you not wake ? Mamma, why are you so cold ? '' Then, 
running to the door, and striking with her hand, "Come, 
my kind friend, come,'' said she ; " I am alone, and I am 
afraid.'' 

Buvat was astonished that they had not removed the child 
from her mother's room; and the profound pity which the 
poor little creature inspired made him forget the painful feel- 
ing which had stopped him for a moment. He then raised his 
hand to open the door. The door was locked. At this moment 
he heard the porter's wife calling him. He ran to the stairs 
and asked her where the key was. 

"Ah!" replied she, "how stupid I am; I forgot to give it 
you as you passed." 

Buvat ran down as quickly as he could. 

" And why is the key here ? " he asked. 

" The landlord placed it here after he had taken away the 
furniture," answered she. 

" What ! taken away the furniture ? " cried Buvat. 

" Of course, he has taken away the furniture. Your neigh- 
bor was not rich, M. Buvat, and no doubt she owes money on 
all sides. Ah ! the landlord will not stand tricks ; the rent 
first. That is but fair. Besides, she does not want furniture 
any more, poor dear I " 

" But the nurse, where is she ? " 

" When she saw that her patient was dead, she went away. 
Her business was finished, but she will come back to shroud 
her for a crown, if you like. It is generally the portress who 
does this, but I cannot ; I am too sensitive." 

Buvat understood, shuddering at all that had passed. He 



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BATHILDE. 129 

went up quickly. His hand shook so that he could scarcely 
find the lock ; but at length the key turned, and the door 
opened. Clarice was extended on the ground on the mattress 
out of her bed, in the middle of the dismantled room. An 
old sheet was thrown over her, and ought to have hidden her 
entirely, but little Bathilde had moved it to seek for her 
mother's face, which she was kissing when he entered. 

" Ah, my friend," cried she, " wake my mamma, who sleeps 
still. Wake her, I beg ! " And the child ran to Buvat, who 
was watching from the door this pitiable spectacle. Buvat 
took Bathilde back to the corpse. 

"Kiss your mother for the last time, my poor child," 
said he. 

The child obeyed. 

" And now," said he, " let her sleep. One day God will 
wake her ; " and he took the child in his arms and carried her 
away. The child made no resistance. She seemed to under- 
stand her weakness and her isolation. 

He put her in his own bed, for they had carried away even 
the child's cot; and when she was asleep he went out to give 
information of the death to the commissary of the quarter, 
and to make arrangements for the funeral. 

When he returned, the portress gave him a paper, which 
the nurse had found in Clarice's hand. Buvat opened and 
recognized the letter from the Due d'Orleans. This was the 
sole inheritance of the poor mother to her daughter. 



CHAPTER XVIL 

BATHILDE. 

DuBiNQ his arrangements for the funeral, Buvat had not 
forgotten to look for a woman who could take care of little 
Bathilde, an office which he could not undertake himself ; 
firstly, because he was entirely ignorant of its duties ; and, 
secondly, because it would be impossible to leave the child 
alone during the six hours he spent daily at the office. Fortu- 
nately, he knew the very person he wanted; a woman of 
from thirty-five to thirty-eight years of age, who had been in 
Madame Biuvat's service, and whose good qualities he had 



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130 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

duly appreciated. It was arranged with Nanette — for this 
was the good woman's name — that she should live in the 
house, do the cooking, take care of little Bathilde, and have 
fifty livres a year wages and her board. This new arrange- 
ment must greatly change all Buvat's habits by obliging him 
to have a housekeeper, whereas he had always lived as a 
bachelor, and taken his meals at an eating-house. He could 
no longer keep his attic, which was now too small for him, 
and next morning he went in search of a new lodging. He 
found one, Rue Pagevin, as he wished to be near the royal 
library that he might not have too far to walk in wet weather. 
This lodging contained two rooms, a closet, and a kitchen. 
He took it on the spot, and went to buy the necessary furni- 
ture for Bathilde and Nanette's rooms ; and the same evening, 
after their return from business, they moved to their new 
lodgings. The next day, which was Sunday, Clarice was 
buried ; so that Buvat had no need to ask for a day's leave 
even for this. 

For the first week or two Bathilde asked constantly for 
her mamma ; but her friend Buvat had brought her a great 
many pretty playthings to console her, so that she soon began 
to ask for her less frequently ; and as she had been told she 
had gone to join her father, she at length only asked occa- 
sionally when they would both come back. 

Buvat had put Bathilde in the best room ; he kept the other 
for himself, and put Nanette in the little closet. 

This Nanette was a good woman, who cooked passably and 
knitted and netted splendidly. In spite of these divers 
talents, Buvat understood that he and Nanette would not 
suffice for the education of a young girl ; and that though she 
might write magnificently, know her five rules, and be able 
to sew and net, she would still know only half of what she 
should. Buvat had looked the obligation he had undertaken 
full in the face. His was one of those happy organizations 
which think with the heart, and he had understood that, 
though she had become his ward, Bathilde remained the 
child of Albert and Clarice. He resolved, then, to give her 
an education conformable, not to her present situation, but to 
the name she bore. 

In arriving at this resolution, Buvat had reasoned, very 
simply, that he owed his place to Albert, and, consequently, 
the income of that place belonged to Bathilde. This is how 



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BATHILDE. 131 

he divided his nine hundred livres a year : four hundred and 
fifty for music, drawing, and dancing masters; four hundred 
and fifty for Bathilde's dowry, 

Kow, supposing that Bathilde, who was four years old, 
should marry at eighteen, the interest and the capital together 
would amount to something like nine or ten thousand francs. 
This was not much, he knew, and was much troubled by that 
knowledge ; but it was in vain to think, he could not make it 
more. 

To defray the expense of their living, lodgings, and clothing, 
for himself and Bathilde, he would again begin to give writing 
lessons and make copies. For this purpose he got up at five 
o'clock in the morning, and went to bed at ten at night. This 
would be all profit ; for, thanks to this new arrangement, he 
would lengthen his life by two or three hours daily. For 
some time these good resolutions prospered ; neither lessons 
nor copies were wanting ; and, as two years passed before 
Bathilde had finished the early education he himself under- 
took to give her, he was able to add nine hundred francs to 
her little treasure. At six years old Bathilde had what the 
daughters of the richest and noblest houses seldom have — 
masters for music, drawing, and dancing. Making sacrifices 
for this charming child was entirely pleasure ; for she 
appeared to have received from God one of those happy 
organizations whose aptitude makes us believe in a former 
world, for they appear not so much to be learning a new thing 
as to be remembering one formerly known. As to her beauty, 
which had given such early promise, it had amply fulfilled it. 

Buvat was happy the whole week, whilst after each lesson 
he received the compliments of the master, and very proud 
on Sundays, when, having put on his salmon-colored coat, 
his black velvet breeches, and chin^ stockings, he took 
Bathilde by the hand and went for his weekly walk. 

It was generally towards the Chemin des Porcherons that 
he directed his steps. This was a rendezvous for bowls, and 
Buvat had formerly been a great lover of this game. In 
ceasing to be an actor he had become a judge. Whenever 
a dispute arose, it was referred to him ; and his eye was so 
correct that he could tell at the first glance, and without fail, 
which ball was nearest the mark. From his judgments there 
was no appeal, and they were received with neither more nor 
less respect than those of St. Louis at Yincennes. But it 



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132 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

must be said to his credit that his predilection for this walk 
was not entirely egotistical : it also led to the Marsh of the 
Grange Bateli^re, whose black and gloomy waters attracted a 
great many of those dragon-flies with the gauzy wings and 
golden bodies which children delight to pursue. One of 
Bathilde's greatest amusements was to run, with her green 
net in her hand, her beautiful fair curls floating in the wind, 
after the butterflies and dragon-flies. The result of this was 
that Bathilde had many accidents to her white frock, but, 
provided she was amused, Buvat took very philosophically a 
spot or a tear. This was Nanette's affair. The good woman 
scolded well on their return, but Buvat closed her mouth by 
shrugging his shoulders and saying, " Bah ! one can't put old 
heads on young shoulders." 

And, as Nanette had a great respect for proverbs, which 
she occasionally used herself, she generally gave way to the 
moral of this one. It happened also sometimes, but this 
was only on fSte days, that Buvat complied with Bathilde's 
request to take her to Montmartre to see the windmills. Then 
they set out earlier. Nanette took dinner with them, which 
was destined to be eaten on the esplanade of the abbey. They 
did not get home till eight o'clock in the evening, but from 
the Cross des Porcherons Bathilde slept in Bu vat's arms. 

Things went on thus till the year 1712, at which time the 
great King found himself so embarrassed in his affairs that 
the only thing left for him to do was to leave off paying his 
employees. Buvat was warned of this administrative measure 
by the cashier, who announced to him one fine morning, when 
he presented himself to receive his month's pay, that there 
was no money. Buvat looked at the man with an astonished 
air : it had never entered into his head that the King could 
be in want of money. He took no further notice of this 
answer, convinced that some accident only had interrupted the 
payment, and went back to his office singing his favorite 

" Then let me go,** etc. 

" Pardon," said the supernumerary, who after waiting for 
seven years had at last been named employee the first of the 
preceding month, "you must be very light-hearted to sing 
when we are no longer paid." 

" What ! " cried Buvat 5 " what do you mean ? " 



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BATHILDE. 133 

'< I mean that I suppose you have not gone to be paid." 

" Yes, I have just come from there." 

" Did they pay you ? " 

" No ; they said there was no money." 

" And what do you think of that ? " 

« Oh ! I think," said Buvat, " that they will pay the two 
months together." 

*< Oh, yes ! two months together ! Do you hear, Ducoudray ? 
He thinks they will pay the two months together. He is a 
simple fellow, this Buvat." 

" We shall see next month," replied the second clerk. 

" Yes," replied Buvat, to whom this remark appeared very 
just, " we shall see next month." 

" And if they do not pay you next month, nor the following 
months, what shall you do, Buvat ? " 

" What shall I do ! " said Buvat, astonished that there could 
be a doubt as to his resolution, <<I should come just the 
same." 

" What ! if you were not paid you would come still ? " 

" Monsieur," said Buvat, " for ten years the King has paid 
me down on the nail ; surely after that he has a right to ask 
for a little credit if he is embarrassed." 

" Vile flatterer," said the clerk. 

The month passed, and pay-day came again. Buvat pre- 
sented himself with the most perfect confidence that they 
would pay his arrears ; but to his astonishment they told him 
that there was still no money. Buvat asked when there 
would be any. The cashier replied that he should like to 
know. Buvat was quite confused, and went away ; but this 
time without singing. The same day the clerk resigned. 
Now as it was difficult to replace a clerk who resigned 
because he was not paid, and whose work must be done all 
the same, the chief told Buvat, besides his own work, to do 
that of the missing clerk. Buvat undertook it without mur- 
mur ; and as his ordinary work had left him some time free, 
at the end of the month the business was done. 

They did not pay the third month any more than the two 
others — it was a real bankruptcy. But as has been seen, 
Buvat never bargained with his duties. What he had promised 
on the first impulse he did on reflection ; but he was forced to 
attack his treasure, which consisted of two years' pay. Mean- 
while Bathilde grew. She was now a young girl of thirteen 



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134 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

or fourteen years old, whose beauty became every day more 
remarkable, and who began to understand all the difficulties 
of her position. For some time the walks in the Porcheron 
and the expedition to Montmartre had been given up under 
pretext that she preferred remaining at home to draw or play 
on the harpsichord. 

Buvat did not understand these sedentary tastes which 
Bathilde had acquired so suddenly. And as, after having 
tried two or three times to go out without her, he found that 
it was not the walk itself he cared for, he resolved, as he must 
have air upon a Sunday, to look for a lodging with a garden. 
But lodgings with gardens were too dear for his finances, and 
having seen the lodging in the Rue du Temps-Perdu, he had 
the bright idea of replacing the garden by a terrace. He 
came back to tell Bathilde what he had seen, telling her that 
the only inconvenience in this lodging would be that their 
rooms must be separated, and that she would be obliged to 
sleep on the fourth floor with Nanette, and he on the fifth. 
This was rather a recommendation to Bathilde. For some 
time she had begun to feel it inconvenient that her room 
should be only separated by a door from that of a man still 
young, and who was neither her father nor her husband. She 
therefore assured Buvat that the lodging must suit him admi- 
rably, and advised him to secure it at once. Buvat was 
delighted, and the same day gave notice to quit his old 
lodgings, and at the half-term he moved. 

Bathilde was right ; for since her black mantle sketched her 
beautiful shoulders — since her mittens showed the prettiest 
fingers in the world — since of the Bathilde of former times 
there was nothing left but her childish feet, every one began 
to remark that Buvat was young — that the tutor and the 
pupil were living under the same roof. In fact, the gossips 
who, when Bathilde was six years old, worshipped Buvat's 
footsteps, now began to cry out about his criminality because 
she was fifteen. Poor Buvat ! If ever echo was innocent 
and pure, it was that of the room which adjoined Bathilde's, 
and which for ten years had sheltered his good round head, 
into which a bad thought had never entered, even in dreams. 

But on arriving at the Rue du Temps-Perdu it was still 
worse. In the Rue Pagevin, where his admirable conduct to 
the child was known, this remembrance had protected him 
against calumny ; but in their new quarter this was quite 



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BATHILDE. 135 

unknown, and their inscribing themselves under two different 
names prevented any idea of very near relationship. Some 
supposed that they saw in Bathilde the result of an old 
passion which the church had forgotten to consecrate, but 
this idea fell at the first examination. Bathilde was tall and 
slender, Buvat short and fat; Bathilde had brilliant black 
eyes, Buvat's were blue and expressionless; Bathilde's face 
was white and smooth, Buvat's face was bright red. In fact, 
Bathilde's whole person breathed elegance and distinction, 
while poor Buvat was the type of vulgar good nature. The 
result of this was that the women began to look at Bathilde 
with contempt, and that men called Buvat a lucky fellow. 
The previsions of the clerk who resigned were realized. For 
eighteen months Buvat had not touched a sou of his pay, and 
yet had not relaxed for a moment in his punctuality. More- 
over, he was haunted with a fear that the ministry would turn 
away a third of the clerks for the sake of economy. Buvat 
would have looked on the loss of his place as a great mis- 
fortune, although it took him six hours a day which he might 
have employed in a lucrative manner. They took care not to 
dismiss a man who worked the better the less they paid him. 

Bathilde began to think that there was something passing 
of which she was ignorant. She thought it would be no use 
to ask Buvat, and addressing herself to Nanette, who, after a 
short time, avowed all to her, Bathilde learnt for the first time 
all she owed to Buvat ; and that to pay her masters, and to 
amass her dowry, Buvat worked from morning till night ; and 
that in spite of, this, as his salary was not paid, he would be 
obliged sooner or later to tell Bathilde that they must retrench 
all expenses that were not absolutely necessary. 

Bathilde's first impulse on learning this devotion was to 
fall at Buvat's feet and express her gratitude ; but she soon 
understood that, to arrive at her desired end, she must feign 
ignorance. 

The next day Bathilde told Buvat, laughing, that it was 
throwing away money to keep her masters any longer, for 
she knew as much as they did ; and as, in Buvat's eyes, 
Bathilde's drawings were the most beautiful things in the 
world, and as, when she sang, he was in the seventh heaven, 
he found no difficulty in believing her, particularly as her 
masters, with unusual candor, avowed that their pupil knew 
enough to study alone ; but Bathilde had a purifying influence 



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136 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

on all who approached her. Bathilde was not satisfied with 
saving expense, but also wished to increase his gains. 
Although she had made equal progress in music and drawing, 
she understood that drawing was her only resource, and that 
music could be nothing but a relaxation. She reserved all 
her attention for drawing ; and as she was really very talented, 
she soon made charming sketches. At last one day she wished 
to know what they were worth; and she asked Buvat, in 
going to his office, to show them to the person from whom 
she bought her paper and crayons, and who lived at the 
corner of the Rue de Cl^ry. She gave him two children's 
heads which she had drawn from fancy, to ask their value. 
Buvat undertook the commission without suspecting any 
trick, and executed it with his ordinary naivete. The dealer, 
accustomed to such propositions, turned them round and 
round with a disdainful air, and, criticising them severely, 
said that he could only offer fifteen francs each for them. 
Buvat was hurt not by the price offered, but by the disre- 
spectful manner in which the shopkeeper had spoken of 
Bathilde's talent. He drew them quickly out of the dealer's 
hands, saying that he thanked him. 

The man, thinking that Buvat thought the price too small, 
said that, for friendship's sake, he would go as high as forty 
francs for the two ; but Buvat offended at the slight offered 
to the genius of his ward, answered dryly that the drawings 
which he had shown him were not for sale, and that he had 
only asked their value through curiosity. Every one knows 
that from the moment drawings are not for sale they increase 
singularly in value, and the dealer at length offered fifty 
francs ; but Buvat, little tempted by this proposition, by 
which he did not even dream of profiting, took the drawings 
and left the shop with all the dignity of wounded pride. 
When he returned, the dealer was standing, as if by chance, 
at his door. Buvat, seeing him, kept at a distance ; but the 
shopkeeper came to him, and, putting his two hands on his 
shoulders, asked him if he would not let him have the two 
drawings for the price he had named. Buvat replied a second 
time, sharply, that they were not for sale. " That is a pity," 
replied the dealer, "for I would have given eighty francs.'^ 
And he returned to his door with an indifferent air, but 
watching Buvat as he did so. Buvat, however, went on with 
a pride that was almost grotesque, and, without turning once, 



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BA THILDE. 187 

went straight home. Bathilde heard him, as he came up the 
staircase, striking his cane against the balusters, as he was in 
the habit of doing. She ran out to meet him, for she was 
very anxious to hear the result of the negotiatiou, and, with 
the remains of her childish habits, throwing her arms round 
his neck : 

" Well, my friend," asked she, " what did M. Papillon say ? '' 

"M. Papillon," replied Buvat, wiping his forehead, "is an 
impertinent rascal." 

Poor Bathilde turned pale. 

" How so ? " asked she. 

" Yes ; an impertinent rascal, who, instead of admiring 
your drawings, has dared to criticise them." 

" Oh ! if that is all," said Bathilde, laughing, " he is right. 
Remember that I am but a scholar. But did he offer any 
price ? ^' 

" Yes," said Buvat ; " he had impertinence enough for that." 

" What price ?^' asked Bathilde, trembling. 

"He offered eighty francs." 

"Eighty francs!" cried Bathilde. "Oh!- you must be 
mistaken." 

" I tell you he offered eighty francs for the two," replied 
Buvat, laying a stress on each syllable. 

" But it is four times as much as they are worth," said the 
young girl, clapping her hands for joy. 

" It is possible, though I do not think so j but it is none 
the less true that M. Papillon is an impertinent rascal ! " 

This was not Bathilde's opinion ; but she changed the con- 
versation, saying that dinner was ready — an announcement 
which generally gave a new course to Buvat's ideas. Buvat 
gave back the drawings to Bathilde without further observa- 
tion, and entered the little sitting-room, singing the inevitable, 
" Then let me go," etc. 

He dined with as good an appetite as if there had been no 
]Vr. Papillon in the world. The same evening, while Buvat 
was making copies, Bathilde gave the drawings to Kanette, 
telling her to take them to M. Papillon, and ask for the eighty 
francs he had offered to Buvat. Nanette obeyed, and Bathilde 
awaited her return with great anxiety, for she still believed 
there must be some mistake as to the price. Ten minutes 
afterwards she was quite assured, for the good woman entered 
with the money. Bathilde looked at it for an instant with 



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138 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL, 

tears in her eyes, then kneeling before the crucifix at the foot 
of her bed, she offered up a thanksgiving that she was enabled 
to return to Buvat a part of what he had done for her. 

The next day Buvat, in returning from the office, passed 
before Papillon's door, but his astonishment was great when, 
through the windows of the shop, he saw the drawings. The 
door opened, and Papillon appeared. 

" So," said he, " you thought better of it, and made up 
your mind to part with the two drawings which were not for 
sale ? Ah ! I did not know you were so cunning, neighbor. 
But, however, tell Mademoiselle Bathilde that, as she is a 
good girl, out of consideration for her, if she will do two such 
drawings every month, and promise not to draw for any one 
else for a year, I will take them at the same price.'' 

Buvat was astonished ; he grumbled out an answer which 
the man could not hear, and went home. He went upstairs 
and opened the door without Bathilde having heard him. 
She was drawing ; she had already begun another head, and 
perceiving her good friend standing at the door with a 
troubled air, she put down her paper and pencils, and ran 
to him, asking what was the matter. Buvat wiped away two 
great tears. 

"So," said he, "the child of my benefactors, of Clarice 
Gray and Albert du Rocher, is working for her bread ! " 

" Father," replied Bathilde, half crying, half laughing ; 
" I am not working, I am amusing myself." 

The word "father" was substituted. on great occasions for 
" kind friend," and ordinarily had the effect of calming his 
greatest troubles, but this time it failed. 

" I am neither your father, nor your good friend," mur- 
mured he, " but simply poor Buvat, whom the King pays no 
longer, and who does not gain enough by his writing to con- 
tinue to give you the education you ought to have." 

" Oh ! you want to make me die with grief," cried Bathilde, 
bursting into tears, so plainly was Buvat's distress painted on 
his countenance. 

" I kill you with grief, my child ? " said Buvat, with an 
accent of profound tenderness. " What have I done ? What 
have I said ? You must not cry. It wanted nothing but that 
to make me miserable." 

" But, " said Bathilde, " I shall always cry if you do not 
let me do what I like." 



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BATHILDE. 139 

This threat of Bathilde's, puerile aa it was, made Buvat 
tremble; for, since the day when the child wept for her 
mother, not a tear had fallen from her eyes. 

" Well," said Buvat, " do as you like, but promise me that 
when the King pays my arrears " — 

" Well, well," cried Bathilde, interrupting him, " we shall 
see all that later; meanwhile, the dinner is getting cold." 
And, taking him by the arm, she led him into the little room, 
where, by her jokes and gaiety, she soon succeeded in remov- 
ing the last traces of sadness from Buvat's face. 

What would he have said if he had known all ? 

Bathilde thought she could do the two drawings for M. 
Papillon in eight or ten days; there therefore remained the 
half, at least, of every month, which she was determined not 
to lose. She therefore charged Nanette to search amongst 
the neighbors for some difficult, and, consequently, well- 
paid needlework which she could do in Buvat's absence. 
Nanette easily found what she sought. It was the time for 
laces. The great ladies paid fifty louis a yard for guipure, 
and then ran carelessly through the woods with these trans- 
parent dresses. The result of this was that many a rent had 
to be concealed from mothers and husbands, so that at this 
time there was more to be made by mending than by selling 
laces. From her first attempt, Bathilde did wonders; her 
needle seemed to be that of a fairy. Nanette received many 
compliments on the work of the unknown Penelope, who did 
by day what was undone by night. Thanks to Bathilde's 
industry, they began to have much greater ease in their 
house. 

Buvat, more tranquil, and seeing that he must renounce 
his Sunday walks, determined to be satisfied with the famous 
terrace which had determined him in the choice of his house. 
For a week he spent an hour morning and evening taking 
measures, without any one knowing what he intended to do. 
At length he decided on having a fountain, a grotto, and an 
arbor. Collecting the materials for these, and afterwards 
building them, had occupied all Buvat's spare time for twelve 
months. During this time Bathilde had passed from her 
fifteenth to her sixteenth year, and the charming child into a 
beautiful woman. It was during this time that her neighbor, 
Boniface Denis, had remarked her, and his mother, who could 
refuse him nothing, after having been for information to the 



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140 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

Rue Pagevin, had presented herself, under pretext of neigh- 
borhood, to Buvat and his ward, and, after a little whUe, 
invited them both to pass Sunday evenings with her. 

The invitation was given with so good a grace that there 
was no means of refusing it, and, indeed, Buvat was delighted 
that some opportunity of amusement should be presented to 
Bathilde; besides, as he knew that Madame Denis had two 
daughters, perhaps he was not sorry to enjoy that triumph 
which his paternal pride assured him Bathilde could not fail 
to obtain over Mademoiselle Emilie and Mademoiselle Athe- 
nais. However, things did not pass exactly as he had ar- 
ranged them. Bathilde soon saw the mediocrity of her rivals, 
so that when they spoke of drawing, and called on her to 
admire some heads by these young ladies, she pretended to 
have nothing in the house that she could show, while Buvat 
knew that there were in her portfolio two heads, one of the 
infant Jesus, and one of St. John, both charming ; but this 
was not all — the Misses Denis sang ; and when they asked 
Bathilde to sing she chose a simple little romance in two 
verses, which lasted five minutes, instead of the grand scene 
which Buvat had expected. 

However, this conduct appeared singularly to increase the 
regard of Madame Denis for the young girl, for Madame 
Denis was not without some uneasiness with respect to the 
event of an artistic struggle between the young people. 
Bathilde was overwhelmed with caresses by the good woman, 
who, when she was gone, declared she was full of talents and 
modesty, and that she well deserved all the praises lavished 
upon her. A retired silk-mercer raised her voice to recall the 
strange position of the tutor and the pupil, but Madame 
Denis imposed silence on this malicious tongue by declaring 
that she knew the whole history from beginning to end, and 
that it did the greatest honor to both her neighbors. It 
was a small lie, however, of good Madame Denis, but it was 
doubtless pardoned in consideration of the intention. 

As to Boniface, in company he was dumb and a nonentity ; 
he had been this evening so remarkably stupid that Bathilde 
had hardly noticed him at all. 

But it was not thus with Boniface, who, having admired 
Bathilde from a distance, became quite crazy about her when 
he saw her near. He began to sit constantly at his window, 
which obliged Bathilde to keep hers closed ; for it will be 



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BATHILDE. 141 

remembered that Boniface then inhabited the room now occu- 
pied by the Chevalier d'Harmental. This conduct of Bathilde, 
in which it was impossible to see anything but supreme mod- 
esty, only augmented the passion of her neighbor. At his 
request his mother went again to the Rue Pagevin, and to the 
Rue des Orties, where she had learned from an old woman 
something of the death-scene we have related, and in which 
Buvat played so noble a part. She had forgotten the names, 
and she only remembered that the father was a handsome 
young officer, who had been killed in Spain, and that the 
mother was a charming young woman, who had died of grief 
and poverty. 

Boniface had also been in search of news, and had learned 
from his employer, who was a friend of Buvat's notary, that 
every year, for six years past, five hundred francs had been 
deposited with him in Bathilde's name, which with the inter- 
est formed a little capital of seven or eight thousand francs. 
This was not much for Boniface, who, as his mother said, 
would have three thousand francs a year, but at least it 
showed that Bathilde was not destitute. At the end of a 
month, during which time Madame Denis' friendship for 
Bathilde did not diminish, seeing that her son's love greatly 
increased, she determined to ask her hand for him. One 
afternoon, as Buvat returned from business, Madame Denis 
waited for him at her door and made a sign to him that she 
had something to say to him. Buvat followed her politely 
into her room, of which she closed the door that she might 
not be interrupted; and when Buvat was seated she asked 
for the hand of Bathilde for her son. 

Buvat was quite bewildered. It had never entered his 
mind that Bathilde might marry. Life without Bathilde 
appeared so impossible a thing that he changed color at the 
bare idea. Madame Denis did not fail to remark the strange 
effect that her request had produced on Buvat. She would 
not even allow him to think it had passed unnoticed. She 
offered him the bottle of salts which she always kept on the 
chimney-piece, that she might repeat three or four times a 
week that her nerves were very sensitive. 

Buvat, instead of simply smelling the salts from a reason- 
able distance, put it close up under his nose. The effect was 
rapid. He bounded to his feet as if the angel of Habakkuk 
bad taken him by the hair. He sneezed for about ten minutes j 



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142 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

then, having regained his senses, he said that he understood 
the honorable proposal made for Bathilde, but that he was 
only her guardian ; that he would tell her of the proposal, but 
must leave her free to accept or refuse. 

Madame Denis thought this perfectly right, and conducted 
him to the door, saying that, waiting a reply, she was their 
very humble servant. 

Buvat went home and found Bathilde very uneasy ; he was 
half an hour late, which had not happened before for ten 
years. The uneasiness of the young girl was doubled when 
she saw Buvat's sad and pre-occupied air, and she wanted to 
know directly what it was that caused the abstracted mien of 
her dear friend. Buvat, who had not had time to prepare 
a speech, tried to put off the explanation till after dinner ; but 
Bathilde declared that she should not go to dinner till she 
knew ^hat had happened. Buvat was thus obliged to deliver 
on the spot, and without preparation, Madame Denis' pro- 
posal to Bathilde. 

Bathilde blushed directly, as a young girl always does when 
they talk to her of marriage ; then taking the hands of Buvat, 
who was sitting down, trembling with fear, and looking at him 
with that sweet smile which was the sun of the poor writer ; 

" Then, my dear father," said she, " you have had enough of 
your daughter and you wish to get rid of her ? " 

" I," said Buvat, " I who wish to get rid of you ! No, my 
child ; it is I who shall die of grief if you leave me.'' 

" Then, my father, why do you talk to me of marriage ? " 

" Because — because — some day or other you must marry, 
and if you find a good partner, although, God knows, my 
little Bathilde deserves some one better than M. Boniface." 

" Ko, my father," answered Bathilde, " I do not deserve 
any one better than M. Boniface, but " — 

« Well — but?" 

" But — I will never marry." 

" What ! " cried Buvat, " you will never marry ? " 

" Why should I ? Are we not happy as we are ? " 

" Are we not happy ? " echoed Buvat. " Sabre de hois ! I 
believe we are." 

Sabre de hois was an exclamation which Buvat allowed him- 
self on great occasions, and which illustrated admirably the 
pacific inclinations of the worthy fellow. 

<'Well, then," continued Bathilde, with her angel's smile, 



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BATHILDE. 143 

«* if w>3 are happy let us rest as we are. You know one should 
not tempt Providence." 

" Come and kiss me, my child/' said Buvat ; " you have just 
lifted Montmartre off my stomach ! '' 

" You did not wish for this marriage, then ? " 

" I wish to see you married to that wretched little imp of a 
Boniface, against whom I took a dislike the first time I saw 
him ! I did not know why, though I know now.'' 

" If you did not desire this marriage why did you speak to 
me about it ? '^ 

" Because you know well that I am not really your father, 
that I have no authority over you, that you are free." 

" Indeed, am I free ? " answered Bathilde, laughing. 

" Free as air." 

" Well, then, if I am free, I refuse." 

^^Didble! I am highly satisfied," said Buvat, "but how 
shall I tell it to Madame Denis ? " 

" How ? Tell her that I am too young, that I do not wish 
to marry, that I want to stop with you always." 

" Come to dinner," said Buvat, " perhaps a bright idea will 
strike me when I am eating. It is odd ! my appetite has come 
back all of a sudden. Just now I thought I could not swallow 
a drop of water. Now I could drink the Seine dry." 

Buvat drank like a Suisse, and ate like an ogre; but, in 
spite of this infraction of his ordinary habits, no bright idea 
came to his aid ; so that he was obliged to tell Madame Denis 
openly that Bathilde was very much honored by her selection, 
but that she did not wish to marry. 

This unexpected response perfectly dumbfounded Madame 
Denis, who had never imagined that a poor little orphan like 
Bathilde could refuse so brilliant a match as her son ; conse- 
quently she answered very sharply that every one was free to 
act for themselves, and that if Mademoiselle Bathilde chose to 
be an old maid she was perfectly welcome. 

But when she reflected on this refusal, which her maternal 
pride could not understand, all the old calumnies which she 
had heard about the young girl and her guardian returned to 
her mind ; and, as she was in a disposition to believe them, 
she made no further doubt that they were true, and when she 
transmitted their beautiful neighbor's answer to Boniface, she 
said, to console him for this matrimonial disappointment, that 
it was very lucky that she had refused, since, if she had 



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141 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

accepted, iu consequence of what she had learnt, she could not 
have allowed such a marriage to be concluded. 

Madame Denis thought it unsuited to her dignity that after 
so humiliating a refusal her son should continue to inhabit the 
room opposite Bathilde's, so she gave him one on the ground 
floor, and announced that his old one was to let. 

A week after, as M. Boniface, to revenge himself on 
Bathilde, was teasing Mirza, who was standing in the doorway, 
not thinking it fine enough to trust her little white feet out of 
doors, Mirza, whom the habit of being fed had made very 
petulant, darted out on M. Boniface and bit him cruelly in the 
calf. 

It was in consequence of this that the poor fellow, whose 
heart or leg was not very well healed, cautioned D'Harmental 
to beware of the coquetry of Bathilde, and to throw sugar 
plums to Mirza. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

FIRST LOVE. 

Fob three or four months Boniface's room remained vacant. 
Then one day Bathilde, who was accustomed to see the window 
closed, on raising her eyes found that it was open, and at the 
window she saw a strange face : it was that of D'Harmental. 
Tew such faces as that of the chevalier were seen in the Rue 
du Temps-Perdu. Bathilde, admirably situated behind her 
curtain for seeing without being seen, was attracted involun- 
tarily. There was in our heroes features a distinction and an 
elegance which could not escape Bathilde's eyes. The chev- 
alier's dress, simple as it was, betrayed the elegance of the 
wearer : then Bathilde had heard him give some orders, and 
they had been given with that inflection of voice which indi- 
cates in him who possesses it the habit of command. 

The young girl had discovered at the flrst glance that this 
man was very superior in all respects to him whom he suc- 
ceeded in the possession of this little room, and with that 
instinct so natural to persons of good birth, she at once recog- 
nized him as being of high family. The same day the chev- 
alier had tried his harpsichord. At the first sound of the 
instrument Bathilde had raised her head. The chevalier; 



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FIRST LOVE. 146 

though he did not know that he had a listener, or perhaps be^ 
cause he did not know it, went on with preludes and fantasias, 
which showed an amateur of no mean talents. At these 
sounds, which seemed to wake all the musical chords of her 
own organization, Bathilde had risen and approached the 
window that she might not lose a note, for such an amusement 
was unheard of in the Eue du Temps-Perdu. Then it was that 
D'Harmental had seen against the window the charming little 
iingers of his neighbor, and had driven them away by turning 
round so quickly that Bathilde could not doubt she had been 
seen. 

The next day Bathilde thought it was a long time since 
she had played, and sat down to her instrument. She began 
nervously, she knew not why; but as she was an excellent 
musician, her fear soon passed away, and it was then that 
she executed so brilliantly that piece from Armida, which had 
been heard with so much astonishment by the chevalier and 
the Abb^ Brigand. 

We have noted how on the following morning the chevalier 
had seen Buvat, and become acquainted with Bathilde's name. 
The appearance of the young girl had made the deeper 
impression on the chevalier from its being so unexpected in 
such a place; and he was still under the influence of the 
charm when Roquefinette entered, and gave a new direction 
to his thoughts, which, however, soon returned to Bathilde. 
The next day, Bathilde, who, profiting by the first ray of the 
spring sun, was early at her window, noticed in her turn that 
the eyes of the chevalier were ardently fixed upon her. She 
had noticed his face, young and handsome, but to which 
the thought of the responsibility he had taken gave a certain 
air of sadness; but sadness and youth go so badly together 
that this anomaly had struck her — this handsome young man 
had then something to annoy him — perhaps he was unhappy. 
What could it be ? Thus, from the second time she had seen 
him, Bathilde had very naturally meditated about the cheva- 
lier. This had not prevented Bathilde from shutting her 
window, but, from behind her window, she still saw the out- 
line of the chevalier^s sad face. She felt that D'Harmental 
was sad, and when she sat down to her harpsichord was it 
not from a secret feeling that music is the consoler of troubled 
hearts ? 

That evening it was D'Harmental who played, and Bathilde 



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14f3 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

listened with all her soul to the melodious voice which spoke 
of love in the dead of night. Unluckily for the chevalier, 
who, seeing the shadow of the young girl behind the drapery, 
began to think that he was making a favorable impression 
on the other side of the street, he had been interrupted in 
his concert by the lodger on the third floor; but the most 
important thing was accomplished — there was already a 
point of sympathy between the two young people, and they 
already spoke that language of the heart, the most dangerous 
of all. 

Moreover, Bathilde, who had dreamed all night about 
music, and a little about the musician, felt that something 
strange and unknown to her was going on, and, attracted as 
she was towards the window, she kept it scrupulously closed ; 
from this resulted the movement of impatience, under the 
influence of which the chevalier had gone to breakfast with 
Madame Denis. 

There he had learnt one important piece of news, which 
was that Bathilde was neither the daughter, the wife, nor the 
niece of Buvat ; thus he went upstairs joyfully, and, finding 
the window open, he had put himself — in spite of the friendly 
advice of Boniface — in communication with Mirza, by means 
of bribing her with sugar. The unexpected return of Bathilde 
had interrupted this amusement; the chevalier in his ego- 
tistical delicacy had shut his windo»v ; but, before the window 
had been shut, a salute had been exchanged between the two 
young people. This was more than Bathilde had ever 
accorded to any man, not that she had not from time to time 
exchanged salutes with some acquaintance of Buvat's, but 
this was the first time she had blushed as she did so. 

The next day Bathilde had seen the chevalier at his window, 
and, without being able to understand the action, had seen 
him nail a crimson ribbon to the outer wall ; but what she 
had particularly remarked was the extraordinary animation 
visible on the face of the young man. Half an hour after- 
wards she had seen with the chevalier a man perfectly 
unknown to her, but whose appearance was not reassuring; 
this was Captain Roquefinette. Bathilde had also remarked, 
with a vague uneasiness, that as soon as the man with the 
long sword had entered, the chevalier had fastened the 
door. 

The chevalier, as is easy to understand, had a long con- 



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FIRST LOVE. 147 

ference with the captain, for they had to arrange all the 
preparations for the evening's expedition. The chevalier's 
window remained thus so long closed that Bathilde, thinking 
that he had gone out, had thought she might as well open 
hers. -• 

Hardly was it open, however, when her neighbor's, which 
had seemed only to wait the moment to put itself in com- 
munication with her, opened in its turn. Luckily for Bathilde, 
who would have been much embarrassed by this circumstance, 
she was in that part of the room where the chevalier could 
not see her. She determined, therefore, to remain where she 
was, and sat down near the second half of the window, which 
was still shut. 

Mirza, however, who had not the same scruples as her 
mistress, hardly saw the chevalier before she ran to the win- 
dow, placed her front paws on the sill, and began dancing on 
her hind ones. These attentions were rewarded, as she 
expected, by a first, then a second, then a third lump of sugar ; 
but this third bit, to the no small astonishment of Bathilde, 
was wrapped up in a piece of paper. 

This piece of paper troubled Bathilde a great deal more than 
it did Mirza, who, accustomed to crackers and 5wcre depommey 
soon got the sugar out of its envelope by means of her paws ; 
and, as she thought very much of the inside and very little of 
the wrapper, she ate the sugar and, leaving the paper, ran to 
the window ; but the chevalier was gone : satisfied, no doubt, 
of Mirza's skill, he had retired into his room. 

Bathilde was very much embarrassed ; she had seen at the 
first glance that the paper contained three or four lines of 
writing; but, in spite of the sudden friendship which her 
neighbor seemed to have acquired for Mirza, it was evidently 
not to Mirza that he was writing letters — it must, therefore, 
be to her. What should she do ? Go and tear it up ? That 
would be noble and proper ; but, even if it were possible to do 
such a thing, the paper in which the sugar, had been wrapped 
might have been written on some time, and then the action 
would be ridiculous in the highest degree, and it would show, 
at any rate, that she thought about the letter. Bathilde 
resolved, then, to leave things as they were. The chevalier 
could not know that she was at home, since he had not seen 
her ; he could not, therefore, draw any deduction from the 
fact that the paper remained on the floor. She therefore con- 



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148 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

tinued to work, or rather to reflect, hidden behind her curtain, 
as the chevalier, probably, was behind his. 

In about an hour, of which it must be confessed Bathilde 
passed three-quarters with her eyes fixed on the paper, 
Nanette entered. Bathilde, without moving, told her to shut 
the window — Nanette obeyed ; but in returning she saw the 
paper. 

" What is that ? " asked she, stooping down to pick it up. 

"Nothing," answered Bathilde quickly, forgetting that 
Nanette could not read, " only a paper which has fallen out of 
my pocket." Then, after an instant's pause, and with a visible 
effort, " and which you may throw on the fire," continued she. 

" But perhaps it may be something important ; see what it 
is, at all events, mademoiselle." And Nanette presented the 
letter to Bathilde. 

The temptation was too strong to resist. Bathilde cast her 
eyes on the paper, affecting an air of indifference as well as 
she could, and read as follows ; 

" They say you are an orphan : I have no parents ; we are, 
then, brother and sister before God. This evening I run a 
great danger ; but I hope to come out of it safe and sound if 
my sister — Bathilde — will pray for her brother Raoul." 

" You are right," said Bathilde, in a moved voice, and, 
taking the paper from the hands of Nanette, " that paper is 
more important than I thought ; " and she put D'Harmental's 
letter in the pocket of her apron. Five minutes after Nan- 
ette, who came in twenty times a day without any particular 
reason, went out as she had entered, and left Bathilde alone. 

Bathilde had only just glanced at the letter, and it had 
seemed to dazzle her. As soon as Nanette was gone she read 
it a second time. 

It would have been impossible to have said more in fewer 
words. If D'Harmental had taken a whole day to combine 
every word of the billet, instead of writing on the spur of 
the moment, he could not have done it better. Indeed, he 
established a similarity of position between himself and the 
orphan ; he interested Bathilde in her neighbor's fate on 
account of a menacing danger, a danger which would appear 
all the greater to the young girl from her not knowing its 
nature ; and, finally, the expression brother and sister, so 



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FIRST LOVE. 149 

skilfully glided in at the end, and to ask a simple prayer, 
excluded from these first advances all idea of love. 

It followed, therefore, that, if at this moment Bathilde had 
found herself vis-a-vis with D'Harmental, instead of being 
embarrassed and blushing, as a young girl would who had just 
received her first love-letter, she would have taken him by 
the hand and said to him, smiling, — "Be satisfied, I will pray 
for you." There remained, however, on the mind of Bathilde 
something more dangerous than all the declarations in the 
world, and that was the idea of the peril which her neighbor 
ran. By a sort of presentiment with which she had been 
seized on seeing him, with a face so different from his ordinary 
expression, nail the crimson ribbon to his window, and with- 
draw it directly the captain entered, she was almost sure that 
the danger was somehow connected with this new personage, 
whom she had never seen before. But how did this danger 
concern him? What was the nature of the danger itself? 
This was what she asked herself in vain. She thought of a 
duel, but to a man such as the chevalier appeared to be, a 
duel was not one of those dangers for which one asks the 
prayers of women ; besides, the hour named was not suitable 
to duels. Bathilde lost herself in her conjectures ; but, in 
losing herself, she thought of the chevalier, always of the 
chevaJier, and of nothing but the chevalier; and, if he had 
calculated upon such an effect, it must be owned that his 
calculations were wofully true for poor Bathilde. 

The day passed ; and, whether it was intentional, or whether 
it was that he was otherwise employed, Bathilde saw him no 
more, and his window remained closed. When Buvat came 
home as usual, at ten minutes after four, he found the young 
girl so much pre-occupied that, although his perspicacity was 
not great in such matters, he asked her three or four times if 
anything was wrong ; each time she answered by one of those 
smiles which supplied Buvat with enough to do in looking at 
her ; and it followed that, in spite of these repeated questions, 
Bathilde kept her secret. 

After dinner M. Chaulieu's servant entered — he came to 
ask Buvat to spend the evening with his master. The Abb^ 
Chaulieu was one of Buvat's best patrons, and often came to 
his house, for he had taken a great liking for Bathilde. The 
poor abb^ became blind, but not so entirely as not to be able 
to recognize a pretty face ; though it is true that he saw it 



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160 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

across a cloud. The abb^ had told Bathilde, in his sexagena- 
rian gallantry, that his only consolation was that it is thus that 
one sees the angels. 

Bathilde thanked the good abb^ from the bottom of her 
heart for thus getting her an evening's solitude. She knew 
that when Buvat went to the Abbe Chaulieu he ordinarily 
stayed some time ; she hoped, then, that he would stop late as 
usual. Poor Buvat went out, without imagining that for the 
first time she desired his absence. 

Buvat was a lounger, as every bourgeois of Paris ought to 
be. From one end to the other of the Palais Royal he stared 
at the shops, stopping for the thousandth time before the 
things which generally drew his attention. On leaving the 
colonnade he heard singing, and saw a group of men and 
women, who were listening to the songs ; he joined them and 
listened too. At the moment of the collection he went away, 
not from a bad heart, nor that he would have wished to refuse 
the admirable musician the reward which was his due, but 
that by an old habit, of which time had proved the advan- 
tage, he always came out without money, so that by whatever 
he was tempted he was sure to overcome the temptation. 
This evening he was much tempted to drop a sou into the 
singer's bowl, but as he had not a sou in his pocket he was 
obliged to go away. He made his way then, as we have seen, 
towards the Barri^re des Sergents, passed up the Rue du Coq, 
crossed the Pont-Neuf , returned along the quay so far as the 
Rue Mazarine : it was in the Rue Mazarine that the Abb^ 
Chaulieu lived. 

The Abbe Chaulieu recognized Buvat, whose excellent 
qualities he had appreciated during their two years' acquaint- 
ance and, with much pressing on his part, and many diflS- 
culties on Buvat's, made him sit down near himself before a 
table covered with papers. It is true that at first Buvat sat 
on the very edge of his chair ; gradually, however, he got 
further and further on — put his hat on the ground — took his 
cane between his legs, and found himself sitting almost like 
any one else. 

The work that there was to be done did not promise a 
short sitting ; there were thirty or forty poems on the table to 
be classified — numbered, and, as the abbe's servant was his 
amanuensis, corrected ; so that it was eleven o'clock before 
they thought that it had struck nine. They had just finished 



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FIRST LOVE. 151 

and Buvat rode, horrified at having to come home at such an 
hour. It was the first time such a thing had ever happened 
to him ; he rolled up the manuscript, tied it with a red ribbon, 
which had probably served as a sash to Mademoiselle Delau- 
nay, put it in his pocket, took his cane, picked up his hat, and 
left the house, abridging his leave-taking as much as possible. 
To add to his misfortunes there was no moonlight, the night 
was cloudy. Buvat regre.tted not having two sous in his 
pocket to cross the ferry which was then where now stands 
the Pont des Arts; but we have already explained Buvat's 
theory to our readers, and he was obliged to return as he had 
come — by the Quai Conti, the Rue Pont-Neuf, the Rue du 
Coq, and the Rue Saint Honors. 

Everything had gone right so far, and except the statue of 
Henry IV., of which Buvat had forgotten either the existence 
or the place, and which had frightened him terribly, and the 
Samaritaine, which, fifty steps off, had struck the half hour 
without any preparation, the noise of which had made poor 
belated Buvat tremble from head to foot, he had run no real 
peril, but on arriving at the Rue des Bons-Enfans things 
took a different look. In the first place the aspect of the 
street itself, long, narrow, and only lighted by two flickering 
lanterns in the whole length, was not reassuring, and this 
evening it had to Buvat a very singular appearance ; he did 
not know whether he was asleep or awake; he fancied that 
he saw before him some fantastic vision, such as he had 
heard told of the old Flemish sorceries; the streets seemed 
alive — the posts seemed to oppose themselves to his passage 
— the recesses of the doors whispered to each other — men 
crossed like shadows from one side of the street to the other ; 
at last, when he had arrived at number 24, he was stopped, 
as we have seen, by the chevalier and the captain. It was 
then that D'Harmental had recognized him, and had pro- 
tected him against the first impulse of Roquefinette, inviting 
him to continue his route as quickly as possible. There was 
no need to repeat the request — Buvat set off at a trot, gained 
the Place des Victoires, the Rue du Mail, the Rue Mont- 
martre, and at last arrived at his own house, No. 4, Rue du 
Temps-Perdu, where, nevertheless, he did not think himself 
safe till he had shut the door and bolted it behind him. 

There he stopped an instant to breathe, and to light his 
candle — then ascended the stairs, but he felt in his legs the 



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162 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

effect of the occarrencey for he trembled so that he could 
hardlj get to the top. 

As to Bathilde, she had remamed alone, getting more and 
more nneasy as the evening advanced. Up to seven o'clock 
she had seen a light in her neighbor's room, but at that time 
the lamp had been extinguished, and had not been relighted. 
Then Bathilde's time became divided between two occupa- 
tions, — one of which consisted in standing at her window 
to see if her neighbor did not return ; the other in kneeling 
before the crucifix, where she said her evening prayers. 
She heard nine, ten, eleven, and half-past eleven strike suc- 
cessively. She had heard all the noises in the streets die 
away one by one, and sink gradually into that vague and 
heavy sound which seems the breathing of a sleeping town ; 
and all this without bringing her the slightest inkling as to 
whether he who had called himself her brother had sunk 
under the danger which hung over his head or come trium- 
phant through the crisis. 

She was then in her own room, without light, so that no 
one might see that she was watching, and kneeling before her 
crucifix for the tenth time, when the door opened, and, by the 
light of his candle, she saw Buvat so pale and haggard that 
she knew in an instant that something must have happened 
to him^ and she rose, in spite of the uneasiness she felt for 
another, and darted towards him, asking what was the matter. 
But it was no easy thing to make Buvat speak, in the state 
he then was ; the shock had reached his mind, and his tongue 
stammered as much as his legs trembled. 

Still, when Buvat was seated in his easy chair, and had 
wiped his forehead with his handkerchief, when he had made 
two or three journeys to the door to see that his terrible hosts 
of the Eue des Bons-Enfans had not followed him home, he 
began to stutter out his adventure. He told how he had been 
stopped in the Rue des Bons-Enfans by a band of robbers, 
whose lieutenant, a ferocious-looking man nearly six feet high, 
had wanted to kill him, when the captain had come and saved 
his life. Bathilde listened with rapt attention, first, because 
she loved her guardian sincerely, and that his condition showed 
that — right or wrong — : he had been greatly terrified ; next, 
because nothing that happened that night seemed indifferent 
to her ; and, strange as the idea was, it seemed to her that the 
handsome young man was not wholly unconnected with the 



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FIRST LOVE. 153 

scene in which Buvat had just played a part. She asked him 
if he had time to observe the face of the young man who had 
come to his aid and saved his life. 

Buvat answered that he had seen him face to face, as he 
saw her at that moment, and that the proof was that he was 
a handsome young man of from five to six and twenty, in a 
large felt hat, and wrapped in a cloak ; moreover, in the move- 
ment which he had made in stretching out his hand to protect 
him, the cloak had opened, and shown that, besides his sword, 
he carried a pair of pistols in his belt. These details were 
too precise to allow Buvat to be accused of dreaming. Pre- 
occupied as Bathilde was with the danger which the chevalier 
ran, she was none the less touched by that, smaller no doubt, 
but still real, which Buvat had just escaped ; and as repose is 
the best remedy for all shocks, physical or moral, after offer- 
ing him the glass of wine and sugar which he allowed himself 
on great occasions, and which nevertheless he refused on this 
one, she reminded him of his bed, where he ought to have 
been two hours before. 

The shock had been violent enough to deprive Buvat of all 
wish for sleep, and even to convince him that he should sleep 
badly that night ; but he reflected that in sitting up he should 
force Bathilde to sit up, and should see her in the morning 
with red eyes and pale cheeks, and, with his usual sacrifice of 
self, he told Bathilde that she was right — that he felt that 
sleep would do him good, lit his candle, kissed her fore- 
head, and went up to his own room ; not without stopping 
two or three times on the staircase to hear if there was any 
noise. 

Left alone, Bathilde listened to the steps of Buvat, who 
went up into his own room ; then she heard the creaking of 
his door, which he double locked ; then, almost as trembling 
as Buvat himself, she ran to the window, forgetting even to 
pray. 

She remained thus for nearly an hour, but without having 
kept any measure of time. Then she gave a cry of joy, for 
through the window, which no curtain now obscured, she saw 
her neighbor's door open, and D^Harmental enter with a candle 
in his hand. 

By a miracle of foresight Bathilde had been right — the 
man in the felt hat and the cloak who had protected Buvat 
was really the young stranger, for the stranger had on a felt 



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164 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

hat and a cloak ; and moreover, hardly had he returned and 
shut the door, with almost as much care as Buvat had his, and 
thrown his cloak on a chair, than she saw that he had a tight 
coat of a dark color and in his belt a sword and pistols. 
There was no longer any doubt ; it was from head to foot the 
description given by Buvat. Bathilde was the more able to 
assure herself of this, that D'Harmental, without taking off 
any of his attire, took two or three turns in his room, his arms 
crossed, and thinking deeply ; then he took his pistols from his 
belt, assured himself that they were primed, and placed them 
on the table near his bed, unclasped his sword, took it half out 
of the scabbard, replaced it, and put it under his pillow ; then, 
shaking his head, as if to shake out the sombre ideas that 
annoyed him, he approached the window, opened it, and gazed 
earnestly at that of the young girl, who, forgetting that she 
could not be seen, stepped back, and let the curtain fall before 
her, as if the darkness which surrounded her were not a 
sufficient screen. 

She remained thus motionless and silent, her hand on her 
heart, as if to still its beatings ; then she quietly raised the 
curtain, but that of her neighbor was down, and she saw noth- 
ing but his shadow passing and repassing, as he paced his 
room. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

THE OONSUIi DUILIU8. 

On the morning following the day, or rather the night, on 
which the events we have just related had occurred, the Due 
d^Orleans, who had returned to the Palais Royal without 
accident, after having slept all night as usual, passed into his 
study at his accustomed hour — that is to say, about eleven 
o'clock. Thanks to the sang-froid with which nature had 
blessed him, and which he owed chiefly to his great courage, 
to his disdain for danger, and his carelessness of death, not 
only was it impossible to observe in him any change from his 
ordinary calm, which ennui only turned to gloom, but he had 
most probably already forgotten the strange event of which he 
had so nearly been the victim. 

The study into which he had just entered was remarkable 



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THE CONSUL DUILIUS, 155 

as belonging to a man at once a savant^ a politician, and an 
artist. Thus a large table covered with a green cloth, and 
loaded with papers, inkstand, and pens, occupied the middle 
of the room ; but all round, on desks, on easels, on stands, 
were an opera commenced, a half-finished drawing, a chemical 
retort, etc. The Regent, with a strange versatility of mind, 
passed in an instant from the deepest problems of politics to 
the most capricious fancies of painting, and from the most 
delicate calculations of chemistry to the sombre or joyous 
inspirations of music. The Regent feared nothing but ennuiy 
that enemy against whom he struggled unceasingly, without 
ever quite succeeding in conquering it, and which, repulsed by 
work, study, or pleasure, yet remained in sight — if one may 
say so — like one of those clouds on the horizon, towards 
which, even in the finest days, the pilot involuntarily turns 
his eyes. The Regent was never unoccupied, and had the 
most opposite amusements always at hand. 

On entering his study, where the council were to meet in 
two hours, he went towards an unfinished drawing, represent- 
ing a scene from "Daphnis and Chloe," and returned to the 
work, interrupted two days before by that famous game of 
tennis, which had commenced by a racket blow and finished 
by the supper at Madame de Sabran's. 

A messenger came to tell him that Madame Elizabeth 
Charlotte, his mother, had asked twice if he were up. The 
Regent, who had the most profound respect for the princess 
palatine, sent word that not only was he visible, but that if 
madame were ready to receive him he would pay her a visit 
directly. He then returned to his work with all the eagerness 
of an artist. Shortly after the door opened, and his mother 
herself appeared. 

Madame, the wife of Philippe, the first brother of the King, 
came to France after the strange and unexpected death of 
Madame Henriette of England, to take the place of that 
beautiful and gracious princess who had passed from the 
scene like a dream. This comparison, difficult to sustain for 
any newcomer, was doubly so to the poor German princess, 
who, if we may believe her own portrait, with her little eyes, 
her short and thick nose, her long thin lips, her hanging 
cheeks and her large face, was far from being pretty. Unfortu- 
nately, the faults of her face were not compensated for by 
beauty of figure. She was little and fat, with a short body 



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166 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

and legSy aud such frightful hands that she avows herself that 
there were none uglier to be found in the world, and that it 
was the only thing about her to which Louis XIV. could never 
become accustomed. But Louis XIV. had chosen her, not to 
increase the beauties of his court, but to extend his influence 
beyond the Rhine. 

By the marriage of his brother with the princess palatine, 
Louis XIV., who had already acquired some chance of inher- 
itance in Spain by marrying Maria Theresa, and by Philippe 
the First's marriage with the Princess Henriette, only sister 
of Charles II., would acquire new rights over Bavaria, and 
probably in the Palatinate. He calculated, and calculated 
rightly, that her brother, who was delicate, would probably 
die young, and without children. 

Madame, instead of being treated at her husband's death 
according to her marriage contract, and forced to retire into a 
convent, or into the old castle of Montargis, was, in spite of 
Madame de Maintenon's hatred, maintained by Louis XIV. in 
all the titles and honors which she enjoyed during her 
husband's lifetime, although the King had not forgotten the 
blow which she gave to the young Due de Chartres at Ver- 
sailles, when he announced his marriage with Mademoiselle de 
Blois. The proud princess, with her thirty-two quarterings, 
thought it a humiliation that her son should marry a woman 
whom the royal legitimation could not prevent from being the 
fruit of a double adultery, and at the first moment, unable to 
command her feelings, she revenged herself by this maternal 
correction, rather exaggerated, when a young man of eighteen 
was the object, for tiie affront offered to the honor of her 
ancestors. 

As the young Due de Chartres had himself only consented 
unwillingly to this marriage, he easily understood his mother's 
dislike to it, though he would have preferred, doubtless, that 
she should have shown it in a rather less Teutonic manner. 
The result was that when Monsieur died, and the Due de 
Chartres became Due d'Orleans, his mother, who might have 
feared that the blow at Versailles had left some disagreeable 
reminiscence in the mind of the new master of the Palais 
Royal, found, on the contrary, a more respectful son than 
ever. This respect increased, and as Regent he gave his 
mother a position equal to that of his wife. When Madame 
de Berry, his much-loved daughter, asked her father for a 



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THE CONSUL DUILIUS. 157 

company of guards, he granted it, but ordered at the same 
time that a similar company should be given to his mother. 

Madame held thus a high position, and if, in spite of that 
position, she had no political influence, the reason was that 
the Regent made it a principle of action never to allow women 
to meddle with State affairs. It may be also that Philippe 
the Second, Regent of France, was more reserved towards his 
mother than towards his mistresses, for he knew her epistolary 
inclinations, and he had no fancy for seeing his projects made 
the subjects of the daily correspondence which she kept up 
with the Princess Wilhelmina Charlotte and the Duke Anthony 
Ulric of Brunswick. In exchange for this loss, he left her 
the management of the house and of his daughters, which, 
from her overpowering idleness, the Duchesse d'Orleans aban- 
doned willingly to her mother-in-law. In this last particular, 
however, the poor palatine (if one may believe the memoirs 
written at the time) was not happy. Madame de Berry lived 
publicly with Riom, and Mademoiselle de Valois was secretly 
the mistress of Richelieu, who, without anybody knowing how, 
and as if he had the enchanted ring of Gyges, appeared to 
get into her rooms, in spite of the guards who watched the 
doors, in spite of the spies with whom the Regent surrounded 
him, and though, more than once, he had hidden himself in 
his daughter's room to watch. 

As to Mademoiselle de Ghartres, whose character had as 
yet seemed much more masculine than feminine, she, in mak- 
ing a man of herself, as one may say, seemed to forget that 
other men existed, when, some days before the time at which 
we have arrived, being at the opera, and hearing her music 
master, Cauchereau, the finished and expressive singer of the 
Academic Royal, who, in a love scene, was prolonging a note 
full of the most exquisite grace and feeling, the young princess, 
carried away by artistic enthusiasm, stretched out her arms 
and cried aloud, — " Ah ! my dear Cauchereau ! " This unex- 
pected exclamation had troubled her mother, who had sent 
away the beautiful tenor, and, putting aside her habitual 
apathy, determined to watch over her daughter herself. There 
remained the Princess Louise, who was afterwards Queen of 
Spain, and Mademoiselle Elizabeth, who became the Duchesse 
de Lorraine, but as to them there was nothing said ; either 
they were really wise, or else they understood better than 
their elders how to restrain the sentiments of their hearts, or 



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168 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

the accents of passion. As soon as the prince saw his mother 
appear, he thought something new was wrong in the rebellious 
troop of which she had taken the command, and which gave 
her such trouble ; but, as nothing could make him forget the 
respect which, in public and in private, he paid to his mother, 
he rose on seeing her, and after having bowed, and taking her 
hand to lead her to a seat, he remained standing himself. 

"Well, my son," said madame, with a strong German 
accent, " what is this that I hear, and what happened to you 
last evening ? " 

"Last evening?" said the Regent, recalling his thoughts 
and questioning himself. 

" Yes," answered the palatine, " last evening, in coming 
home from Madame de Sabran's." 

" Oh ! it is only that," said the prince. 

" How, only that ! your friend Simiane goes about every- 
where saying that they wanted to carry you off, and that you 
only escaped by coming across the roofs ; a singular road, you 
will confess, for the Regent of the kingdom, and by which, 
however devoted they may be to you, I doubt your ministers 
being willing to come to your council." 

" Simiane is a fool, mother," answered the Regent, not able 
to help laughing at his mother's still scolding him as if he 
were a child, " it was not anybody who wanted to carry me 
away, but some roisterers who had been drinking at some 
cabaret by the Barri^re des Sergents, and who were come to 
make a row in the Rue des Bons-Enfans. As to the road we 
followed, it was for no sort of flight upon earth that I took it, 
but simply to gain a wager which that drunken Simiane is 
furious at having lost." 

"My son, my son," said the palatine, shaking her head, 
"you will never believe in danger, and yet you know what 
your enemies are capable of. Believe me, my child, those 
who calumniate the soul would have few scruples about killing 
the body ; and you know that the Duchesse du Maine has said 
* that the very day when she is quite sure that there is really 
nothing to be made out of her bastard of a husband she will 
demand an audience of you and drive her dagger into your 
heart.' " 

" Bah ! my mother," answered the Regent, laughing, " have 
you become a sufficiently good Catholic no longer to believe 
in predestination ? I believe in it, as you know. Would you 



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THE CONSUL DUILIUS. 159 

wish me to plague my mind about a danger which has no 
existence; or which, if it does exist, has its result already 
inscribed in the eternal book ? No, my mother, no ; the only 
use of all these exaggerated precautions is to sadden life. Let 
tyrants tremble ; but I, who am what Saint-Simon pretends to 
be, the most debonnaire man since Louis le Debonnaire, what 
have 1 to fear ? " 

" Oh, mon Dieu ! nothing, my dear son," said the palatine, 
taking the hand of the prince, and looking at him with as 
much maternal tenderness as her little eyes were capable of 
expressing, " nothing, if every one knew you as well as I do, 
and saw you so truly good that you can not hate even your 
enemies ; but Henry IV., whom unluckily you resemble a little 
too much on certain points, was as good, and that did not 
prevent the existence of a Ravaillac. Alas ! mein Gott^^ con- 
tinued the princess, mixing up French and German in her 
agitation, " it is always the best kings that they do assassinate ; 
tyrants take precautions, and the poniard never reaches them. 
You must never go out without a guard ; it is you, and not I, 
my son, who require a regiment of soldiers." 

" My mother," answered the Regent, ^' will you listen to a 
story ? " 

" Yes, certainly, for you relate them exquisitely." 

^* Well, you know that there was in Rome, I forget in what 
precise year of the republic, a very brave consul, who had the 
misfortune, shared by Henry IV. and myself, of going out of 
a night. It happened that this consul was sent against the 
Carthaginians and, having invented an implement of war 
called a crow, he gained the first naval battle in which the 
Romans had been victors, so that when he returned to Rome, 
congratulating himself beforehand, no doubt, on the increase 
of fortune which would follow his increase of reputation, he 
was not deceived ; all the population awaited him at the city 
gates and conducted him in triumph to the capitol, where the 
senate expected him. 

" The senate announced to him that, in reward for his 
victory, they were going to bestow on him something which 
must be highly pleasing to him, which was, that whenever he 
went out he should be preceded by a musician, who should 
announce to every one, by playing on the flute, that he was 
followed by the famous Duilius, the conquerer of the Cartha- 
ginians. Duilius. you will understand, my mother, was at 



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160 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

the height of joy at such an honor. He returned home 
with a proud bearing, and preceded by his flute-player, who 
played his best, amidst the acclamations of the multitude, 
who cried at the top of their voices, ' Long live Duilius ; long 
live the conqueror of the Carthaginians ; long live the saviour 
of Rome!' This was so intoxicating that the poor consul 
nearly went crazy with joy. Twice during the day he went 
out, although he had nothing to do in the town only to enjoy 
the senatorial privilege, and to hear the triumphal music and 
the cries which accompanied it. This occupation had raised 
him by the evening into a state of glorification such as it is 
not easy to explain. The evening came. The conqueror had 
a mistress whom he loved, and whom he was eager to see 
again — a sort of Madame de Sabran — with the exception 
that the husband thought proper to be jealous, while ours, as 
you know, is not so absurd. 

" The consul therefore had his bath, dressed and perfumed 
himself with the greatest care, and when eleven o'clock 
arrived he set out on tiptoe for the Suburranian Road. But 
he had reckoned without his host; or, rather, without his 
musician. Hardly had he gone four steps when the flute- 
player, who was attached to his service by night as well as 
day, darted from a post on which he was seated and went 
before, playing with all his might and main. The consequence 
of this was that those who were in the streets turned round, 
those who were at home came to the door, and those who were 
in bed got up and opened their windows, all repeating in 
chorus — ' Here is the Consul Duilius ; long live Duilius ; 
long live the conqueror of the Carthaginians ; long live the 
saviour of Rome ! ' This was highly flattering, but inoppor- 
tune. The consul wished to silence his instrumentalist, but 
he declared that the orders he had received from the senate 
were precise — not to be quiet a minute — that he had ten 
thousand sesterces a year to blow his flute, and that blow he 
would as long as he had any breath left. 

" The consul saw that it was useless to discuss with a man 
who had the dictate of the senate on his side, so he began to 
run, hoping to escape from his melodious companion, but he 
copied his actions from those of Duilius with such exactitude 
that all the consul could gain was to get before the flute- 
player instead of behind him. He doubled like a hare, 
sprang like a roebuck, rushed madly forward like a wild boar 



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THE CONSUL DUILIUS. 101 

— the cursed flute-player did not lose his track for an instant, 
so that all Rome, understanding nothing about the object of 
this nocturnal race, but knowing that it was the victor who 
performed it, came to their windows, shouting, 'Long live 
Duilius ; long live the conqueror of the Carthaginians ; long 
live the saviour of Eome ! ' The poor man had one last 
hope ; that of finding the people at his mistress' house asleep, 
and the door half -open, as she had promised to leave it. 
But no ; as soon as he arrived at that hospitable and gracious 
house, at whose door he had so often poured perfumes and 
hung garlands, he found that they were awake like all the 
rest, and at the window he saw the husband, who, as soon as 
he saw him, began to cry, * Long live Duilius ; long live the 
conqueror of the Carthaginians; long live the saviour of 
Eome ! ' The hero returned home despairing. 

" The next day he hoped to escape his musician ; but this 
hope was fallacious ; and it was the same the day after and 
all following days, so that the consul, seeing that it was 
impossible to keep his incognito, left for Sicily, where, out of 
anger he beat the Carthaginians again; but this time so 
unmercifully that every one thought that must be the end of all 
Punic wars, past, present, or to come. Rome was so con- 
vulsed with joy that it gave public rejoicings like those on 
the anniversary of the foundation of the city, and proposed to 
give the conqueror a triumph more splendid even than the 
last. As to the senate, it assembled before the arrival of 
Duilius, to determine what reward should be conferred upon 
him. They were all in favor of a public statue, when sud- 
denly they heard shouts of triumph and the sound of a flute. 
It was the consul, who had freed himself from the triumph, 
thanks to his haste, but who could not free himself from public 
gratitude, thanks to his flute-player. Suspecting that they 
were preparing something new, he came to take part in the 
deliberations. He found the senate ready to vote, with their 
balls in their hands. 

« He advanced to the tribune. ' Conscript fathers,' said he, 
< is it not your intention to give me a reward which will be 
agreeable to me ? ' < Our intention,' replied the president, < is 
to make you the happiest man on earth.' ' Good,' said Dui- 
lius ; ' will you allow me to ask from you that which I 
desire most ? ' ' Speak,' cried all the senators at once. 
<And you will confer it on me?' asked he, with all the 



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162 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

timidity of doubt. 'By Jupiter we will!' answered the 
president in the name of the assembly. *Then, Conscript 
fathers/ said Duilius^ ' if you think that I have deserved well 
of the country, take away from me, in recompense for this 
second victory, this cursed flute-player, whom you gave me for 
the first' The senate thought the request strange, but they 
had pledged their word, and at that period people kept their 
promises. The flute-player was allowed to retire on half-pay, 
and the Consul Duilius, having got rid of his musician, 
recovered his incognito, and, without noise, found the door 
of that little house in the Suburranian Itoad, which one 
victory had closed against him and which another had re- 
opened." 

" Well," asked the palatine, " what has this story to do with 
the fear I have of your being assassinated ? " 

« What has it to do with it, my mother ? " said the prince, 
laughing. " It is, that if, instead of the one musician which 
the Consul Duilius had, and which caused him such disap- 
pointment, I had a regiment of guards, you may fancy what 
would happen to me." 

" Ah ! Philippe, Philippe," answered the princess, laughing 
and sighing at the same time, " will you always treat serious 
matters so lightly ! " 

" No, mother," said the Regent ; " and the proof is that as 
I presume you did not come here solely to read me a lecture 
on my nocturnal courses, but to speak on business, I am ready 
to listen to you, and to reply seriously." 

" Yes, you are right," said the princess ; " I did come to 
speak to you of other things. I came to speak of Mademoi- 
selle de Chartres." 

" Yes, of your favorite, mother ; for it is useless to deny it, 
Louise is your favorite. Can it be because she does not love her 
uncles much, whom you do not love at all ? " 

" No, it is not that, but I confess it is pleasing to me to see 
that she has no better opinion of bastards than I have ; but, 
it is because, except as to beauty, which she has and I never 
had, she is exactly what I was at her age, having true boy's 
tastes, loving dogs, horses, and cavalcades, managing powder 
like an artilleryman, and making squibs like a workman; 
well, guess what has happened to her." 

" She wants a commission in the guards ? " 

" No, no ; she wants to be a nun." 



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THE CONSUL DUILIUS. 168 

** A nun ! Louise ! Impossible 5 it must be some joke of 
her sisters ! " 

"Not at all," replied the palatine ; "there is no joke about 
it, I swear to you." 

" How has she got this passion for the cloister ? " asked the 
Regent, beginning to believe in the truth of what his mother 
told him, accustomed as he was to live at a time when the 
most extravagant things were always the most probable 

" Where did she get it ? " replied madame ; " why, from the 
devil, I suppose; I do not know where else she could have 
got it. The day before yesterday she passed with her sister, 
riding, shooting, laughing ; in fact, I had never seen her so 
gay; but this evening Madame d'Orleans sent for me. I 
found Mademoiselle de Chartres at her mother's knees in 
tears, and begging permission to retire to the Abbey des 
Chelles. Her mother turned to me and said, < What do 
you think of this, madame ? ^ < I think,' I replied, ^ that we 
can perform our devotions equally well in any place, and that 
all depends on our own preparations ; ' but hearing my words. 
Mademoiselle de Chartres redoubled her prayers, and with 
so much earnestness that I said to her mother, ' It is for you 
to decide.' ^ Oh,' replied the duchess, ' we can not prevent 
this poor child from performing her devotions.' * Let her 
go, then,' I replied, ' and may God grant that she goes in that 
intention.' * I swear to you, madame,' said Mademoiselle de 
Chartres, * that I go for God alone, and that I am influenced 
by no worldly idea.' Then she embraced us, and yesterday 
morning at seven o'clock she set out." 

"I know all that, since I was to have taken her there," 
replied the Eegent. " Has nothing happened since then ? " 

" Yes, yesterday evening she sent back the carriage, giving 
the coachman a letter addressed to you, to her mother, and 
to me, in which she says that finding in the cloister that 
tranquillity and peace which she can not hope for in the world, 
she does not wish to leave it.'^ 

" And what does her mother say to this resolution ? " 

" Her mother ! " replied madame. " To tell you the truth, 
1 believe her mother is very glad, for she likes convents, and 
thinks it a great piece of good luck to have a daughter a nun ; 
but I say there is no happiness where there is no vocation." 

The Regent read and re-read the letter of Mademoiselle de 
Chartres, trying to discover by the expression of her desire 



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164 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

to remain at Chelles the secret causes which had given rise 
to it. Then, after an instant of meditation, as deep as if the 
fate of empires depended on it : 

" There is some love pique here," said he ; " do you know 
if Louise loves any one ? " 

Madame told the Regent the adventure of the opera, and 
the exclamation of the princess, in her admiration for the 
handsome tenor. 

'• Diable I " cried the Regent, " and what did you and the 
Duchesse d'Orleans do in your maternal council ? " 

" We showed Cauchereau the door, and forbade the opera 
to Mademoiselle de Chartres ; we could not do less/' 

" Well ! " replied the Regent, " there is no need to seek 
further. We must cure her at once of this fancy." 

" And how will you do that, my son ? " 

" I will go to-day to the Abbey des Chelles, and interrogate 
Louise. If the thing is but a caprice, I will give it time to 
pass off. I will appear to adopt her views, and, in a year 
hence, when she is to take the veil, she herself will come and 
beg us to free her from the difficulty she has got herself into. 
If, on the contrary, the thing is serious, then it will be 
different." 

" Mon Dieu I " said madame, rising, " remember that poor 
Cauchereau has, perhaps, nothing to do with it, and that he is 
even ignorant of the passion he has inspired." 

" Do not be afraid," replied the prince, laughing at the 
tragic interpretation which the princess, with her German 
ideas, had given to his words. " I shall not renew the lament- 
able history of the lovers of the Paraclete ; Cauchereau's 
voice shall neither lose nor gain a single note in this adven- 
ture, and we do not treat a princess of the blood in the same 
manner as a little bourgeoise." 

" But, on the other hand," said madame, almost as much 
afraid of the Regent's real indulgence as of his apparent 
severity, " no weakness either." 

" My mother," said the Regent, " if she must deceive some 
one, I would rather that it was her husband than God." And 
kissing his mother's hand respectfully, he led her to the 
door, quite scandalized at those easy manners, among which 
she died, without ever having accustomed herself to them. 
Then the Due d'Orleans returned to his drawing, humming 
an air from his opera of Forthde. 



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THE ABBS DUBOIS. 165 

In crossing the ante-chamber, madame saw a little man in 
great riding boots coming towards her, his head sunk in the 
immense collar of a coat lined with fur. When he reached 
her he poked out of his surtout a little face with a pointed 
nose, and bearing a resemblance at once to a polecat and 
a fox. 

" Oh ! " said the palatine, " is it you, abb^ ? " 
" Myself, your Highness. I have just saved France — 
nothing but that." And bowing to madame, without waiting 
for her to dismiss him, as etiquette required, he turned on 
his heel, and entered the Eegent's study unannounced. 



CHAPTER XX. 

THE ABBi DUBOIS. 

The rise of the Abb^ Dubois is a matter of general knowl- 
edge. We will not enlarge on the history of his youth, which 
may be found in the memoirs of the time, and particularly 
in those of the implacable Saint-Simon. Dubois has not 
been calumniated — it was impossible : but all the evil has 
been told of him, and not quite all the good. 

There was in his antecedents, and in those of Alberoni, his 
rival, a great resemblance, but the genius was on the side of 
Dubois; and in the long struggle with Spain, which the 
nature of our subject does not allow us to do more than indi- 
cate, all the advantage was with the son of the apothecary 
over the son of the gardener. Dubois preceded Figaro, to 
whom he probably served as type ; but, more fortunate than 
he, he passed from the office to the drawing-room, and from 
the drawing-room to the court. All these successive advan- 
tages were the rewards of various services, private or public. 

His last negotiation was his chef-d^Geuvre ; it was more 
than the ratification of the treaty of Utrecht ; it was a treaty 
more advantageous still for France. The Emperor not only 
renounced all right to the crown of Spain, as Philip V. had 
renounced all his to the crown of France, but he entered, 
with England and Holland, into a league, formed at once 
against Spain on the south and against Sweden and Russia 
on the north. The division of the five or six great states of 



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166 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

Europe was established by this treaty on so solid and just a 
basis that, after a hundred years of wars and revolutions, all 
these states, except the empire, remain in the same situation 
that they then were. 

On his part, the Regent, not very particular by nature, loved 
this man, who had educated him, and whose fortune he had 
made. The Regent appreciated in Duboia the talents he had, 
and was not too severe on the vices from which he was not 
exempt. There was, however, between the Regent and Dubois 
an abyss. The Regent's vices and virtues were those of a 
gentleman, Dubois' those of a lackey. In vain the Regent 
said to him, at each new favor that he granted, "Dubois, 
take care, it is only a livery-coat that I am putting on your 
back." Dubois, who cared about the gift, and not about the 
manner in which it was given, replied, with that apish grimace 
which belonged to him, " I am your valet, monseigneur, dress 
me always the same." 

Dubois, however, loved the Regent, and was devoted to 
him. He felt that this powerful hand alone had raised him 
from the sink in which he had been found, and to which, 
hated and despised as he was by all, a sign from the master 
might restore him. He watched with a personal interest the 
hatreds and plots which might reach the prince; and more 
than once, by the aid of a police often better managed than 
that of the lieutenant-general, and which extended, by means 
of Madame de Tencin, into the highest aristocracy, and, by 
means of La Fillon to the lowest grades of society, he had 
defeated conspiracies of which Messire Voyer d'Argenson had 
not even heard a whisper. 

Therefore the Regent, who appreciated the services which 
Dubois had rendered him, and could still render him, received 
the ambassador with open arms. As soon as he saw him 
appear, he rose, and, contrary to the custom of most princes, 
who depreciate the service in order to diminish the reward, — 

"Dubois," said he, joyously, "you are my best friend, and 
the treaty of the quadruple alliance will be more profitable 
to King Louis XV. than all the victories of his ancestor, 
Louis XIV." 

" Bravo ! " said Dubois, " you do me justice, monseigneur, 
but, unluckily, every one is not equally grateful." 

" Ah ! ah ! " said the Regent, " have you met my mother 7 
She has just left the room." 



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CARDINAL DUBOIS. 
(From an engraving after a drawing by Sandoz.) 



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THE ABB£ DUBOIS. 1G7 

" And how is his Majesty ? " asked Dubois, with a smile full 
of a detestable hope. " He was very poorly when I left." 

"Well, abb^, very well,'' answered the prince, gravely. 
" God will preserve him to us, I hope, for the happiness of 
France, and the shame of our calumniators." 

" And monseigneur sees him every day as usual ? " 

" I saw him yesterday, and I even spoke to him of you." 

« Bah I and what did you tell him ?" 

" I told him that in all probability you had just secured the 
tranquillity of his reign." 

" And what did the King answer ? " 

" What did he answer ! He answered, my friend, that he 
did not think abbds were so useful." 

"His Majesty is very witty; and old Villeroy was there, 
without doubt ? " 

" As he always is." 

" With your permission, I must send that old fellow to look 
for me at the other end of France some fine morning. His 
insolence to you begins to tire my patience." 

" Leave him alone, Dubois, leave him alone ; everything will 
come in time." 

" Even my archbishopric." 

" Ha ! What is this new folly ? " 

" New folly, monseigneur ! on my honor nothing can be 
more serious." 

" Oh ! this letter from the King of England, which asks me 
for an archbishopric for you " — 

" Did your Highness not recognize the style ? " 

" You dictated it, you rascal ! " 

" To N^ricault Destouches, who got the King to sign it." 

"And the King signed it as it is, without saying any- 
thing?" 

" Exactly. * You wish,' said he to our poet, ' that a Protes- 
tant prince should interfere to make an archbishop in France. 
The Regent will read my recommendation, will laugh at it, 
and pay no attention to it.' ' Yes, yes, sire,' replied Destou- 
ches, who has more wit than he puts into his verses, * the 
Regent will laugh at it, but after all will do what your 
Majesty asks.' " 

" Destouches lied." 

" Destouches never spoke more truly, monseigneur." 

" You an archbishop ! King George would deserve that, 



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168 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

in return, I should point out to him some rascal like you for 
the archbishopric of York when it becomes vacant." 

" I defy you to find my equal — I know but one man." 

" And who is he ? I should like to know him." 

** Oh, it is useless, he is already placed, and, as his place is 
good, he would not change it for all the archbishoprics in the 
world." 

^ansolentl" 

" With whom are you angry, monseigneur ? " 

'* With a fellow who wants to be an archbishop, and who 
has never yet officiated at the communion table." 

" I shall be all the better prepared." 

" But the archdeaconship, the deaconship, the priesthood." 

" Bah ! We will find somebody ; some second Jean des 
Entomeures, who will despatch all that in an hour." 

" I defy you to find him." 

" It is already done." 

« And who is that ? " 

" Your first almoner, the Bishop of Nantes, Tressan." 

"The fellow has an answer for everything. But your 
marriage ? " 

" My marriage ! " 

" Yes, Madame Dubois." 

« Madame Dubois I Who is that ? " 

" What, fellow, have you assassinated her ? " 

"Monseigneur forgets that it is only three days since he 
gave her her quarter's pension." 

" And if she should oppose your archbishopric ? " 

" I defy her, she has no proofs." 

" She may get a copy of the marriage certificate." 

"There is no copy without an original." 

" And the original ? " 

" Here it is," said Dubois, drawing from his pocket a little 
paper, containing a pinch of ashes. 

" What ! and are you not afraid that I shall send you to the 
galleys ? " 

"If you wish to do so, now is the time, for I hear the 
lieutenant of police speaking in the ante-chamber." 

"Who sent for him?" 

" I did." 

"What for?" 

" To find fault with him." 



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THE ABBS DUBOIS. 169 

" For what reason ? " 

" You will hear. It is understood, then — I am an arch- 
bishop/' 

« And have you already chosen your archbishopric ? '' 

" Yes, I take Cambray." 

" Peste ! you are not modest." 

" Oh, rnon Dieu / it is not for the profit, it is for the honor 
of succeeding F^n^lon." 

" Shall we have a new Telemachus ?" 

"Yes, if your Highness will find me a Penelope in the 
kingdom." 

"Apropos of Penelope, you know that Madame de 
Sabran" — 

"I know all." 

" Ah, abbd ; your police, then, is as good as ever ! " 

" You shall judge." 

Dubois stretched out his hand, rang the bell, and a mes- 
senger appeared. 

" Send the lieutenant-general," said Dubois. 

" But, abb^, it seems to me that it is you who give orders 
here now." 

" It is for your good, mon seigneur. Let me do it." 

" Well, well ! " said the Eegent, " one must be indulgent to 
new comers." 

Messire Voyer d'Argenson entered — he was as ugly as 
Dubois, but his ugliness was of a very different kind. He was 
tall, thick, and heavy ; wore an immense wig, had great bushy 
eyebrows, and was invariably taken for the devil by children 
who saw him for the first time. But with all this, he was 
supple, active, skilful, intriguing, and fulfilled his office con- 
scientiously, when he was not turned from his nocturnal 
duties by other occupations. 

" Messire d'Argenson," said Dubois, without even leaving 
the lieutenant-general time to finish his bow, " monseigneur, 
who has no secrets from me, has sent for you that you may 
tell me in what costume he went out last night, in whose 
house he passed the evening, and what happened to him on 
leaving it. I should not need to ask these questions if I 
had not just arrived from London; you understand, that as 
I traveled post from Calais, I can know nothing of them." 

" But," said D'Argenson, who thought these questions con- 
cealed some snare, " did anything extraordinary happen last 



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170 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

evening ? I confess I received no report ; I hope no accident 
happened to monseigneur ? " 

" Oh, no, none ; only monseigneur, who went out at eight 
o'clock in the evening, as a French guard, to sup with Madame 
de Sabran, was nearly carried off on leaving her house." 

"Carried off!" cried D'Argenson, turning pale, while the 
Eegent could not restrain a cry of astonishment, " carried off ! 
and by whom ? " 

" Ah ! " said Dubois, " that is what we do not know, and 
what you ought to know, Messire d'Argenson, if you had 
not passed your time at the convent of the Madeleine de 
Traisnel." 

" What, D'Argenson ! you, a great magistrate, give such 
an example ! " said the Regent, laughing. " Never mind, I 
will receive you well, if you come, as you have already done 
in the time of the late King, to bring me, at the end of the 
year, a journal of my acts." 

" Monseigneur," said the lieutenant, stammering, " I hope 
your Highness does not believe a word of what the Abb^ 
Dubois says." 

" What ! instead of being humiliated by your ignorance, 
you give me the lie. Monseigneur, I will take you to 
D'Argenson's seraglio; an abbess of twenty-six, and novices 
of fifteen ; a boudoir in India chintz, and cells hung with 
tapestry. Oh, Monsieur the Lieutenant of Police knows how 
to do things well." 

The Regent held his sides with laughing, seeing D'Argen- 
son's disturbed face. 

"But," replied the lieutenant of police, trying to bring 
back the conversation to the less disagreeable, though more 
humiliating subject, " there is not much merit, abb^, in your 
knowing the details of an event which, doubtless, monseig- 
neur himself told you." 

"On my honor," said the Regent, "I did not tell him a 
single word." 

"Listen, lieutenant; is it monseigneur also who told me 
the story of the novice of the Faubourg Saint-Marceau, whom 
you so nearly carried off over the convent walls ? Is it 
monseigneur who told me of that house which you have had 
built under a false name, against the wall of the convent of 
the Madeleine, so that you can enter at all hours by a door 
hidden in a closet, and which opens on to the sacristy of the 



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THE ABBJ& DUBOIS. 171 

chapel of Saint Mark, your patron ? No, no, all that, my dear 
lieutenant, is the infancy of the art, and he who only knew 
this would not, I hope, be worthy to hold a candle to you." 

" Listen, abb^,'' replied the lieutenant of police with a grave 
air, " if all you have told me about monseigneur is true, the 
thing is serious, and I am in the wrong not to know it if 
any one does — but there is no time lost. We will find the 
culprits and punish them as they deserve." 

"But," said the Regent, "you must not attach too much 
importance to this ; they were, probably, some drunken oflBlcers 
who wished to amuse their companions." 

" It is a conspiracy, monseigneur," replied Dubois, " which 
emanates from the Spanish embassy, passing through the 
arsenal before it arrives at the Palais Royal." 

" Again, Dubois ? " 

" Always, monseigneur." 

" And you, D'Argenson, what is your opinion ? " 

" That your enemies are capable of anything, monseigneur ; 
but that we will mar their plots, whatever they may be, I give 
you my word." 

At this moment the door opened, and the Due du Maine 
was announced, who came to attend the council, and whose 
privilege it was, as prince of the blood, not to be kept waiting. 
He advanced with that timid and uneasy air which was 
natural to him, casting a side glance over the three persons 
in whose presence he found himself, as though to discover 
what subject occupied them at his entrance. The Regent 
understood his thought. 

" Welcome, my cousin," said he ; " these two bad fellows — 
whom you know — have just been assuring me that you are 
conspiring against me." 

The Due du Maine turned as pale as death, and was 
obliged to lean for support on the crutch-shaped stick which 
he carried. 

"And I hope, monseigneur," replied he, in a voice which he 
vainly endeavored to render firm, " that you did not give ear 
to such a calumny." 

" Oh, mon Dieu / no ! " replied the Regent, negligently ; 
" but they are obstinate, and declare that they will take you 
one day in the fact. I do not believe it, but at any rate I 
give you warning ; be on your guard against them, for they 
are clever fellows, I warrant you." 



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172 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

The Due du Maine opened his mouth to give some con- 
temptible excuse, when the door opened again, and the groom 
announced successively the Due de Bourbon, the Prince de 
Conti, the Due de Saint-Simon, the Due de Guiche, captain of 
the guards; the Due Noailles, president of the council of 
finance ; the Due d'Antin, superintendent of ships ; the Mar- 
shal d'XJxelles, president of tiie council of foreign affairs ; the 
Archbishop of Troyes 5 the Marquis de Lavrilli^re ; the Mar- 
quis d'Efflat ; the Due de Laf orce ; the Marquis de Torcy ; and 
the Marshals de Yilleroy, d'Estr^es, de Yillars, and de Bezons. 

As these grave personages were gathered together to delib- 
erate upon the treaty of tibe quadruple alliance, brought from 
London by Dubois, and as the treaty of the quadruple alliance 
only figures secondarily in this history, our readers will excuse 
our leaving the sumptuous reception room in the Palais Royal, 
to lead them back to the attic in the Bue du Temps-Perdu. 



CHAPTER XXI. 

THE CONSPIRACY. 

After having placed hat and cloak on a chair, pistols on the 
table, and his sword under his pillow, D'Harmental threw 
himself dressed on to his bed and, more happy than. Dam- 
ocles, he slept, while a sword hung over his head by a thread. 

When he awoke it was broad daylight, and as the evening 
before he had forgotten to close his shutters, the first thing he 
saw was a ray of sunshine playing joyously across his room. 
D'Harmental thought that he had been dreaming, when he 
found himself again calm and tranquil in his little room, so 
neat and clean, whilst he might have been at that hour in 
some gloomy and sombre prison. For a moment he doubted 
of its reality, remembering all that had passed the evening 
before ; but all was there — the red ribbon, the hat and cloak 
on the chair, the pistols on the table, and the sword under the 
pillow ; and, as a last proof, he himself in the costume of the 
day before, which he had not taken off, for fear of being sur- 
prised by some nocturnal visit. 

D'Harmental jumped from his bed. His first look was for 
his neighbor's window ; it was already open, and he saw 



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THE CONSPIRACY. 178 

Bathilde passing and repassing in her room ; the second was 
for his glass, which told him that conspiracies suited him — 
indeed, his face was paler than usual, and therefore more 
interesting ; his eyes were rather feverish, and therefore more 
expressive : so that it was evident that, when he had smoothed 
his hair and arranged his collar and cravat, he would be a 
most interesting person to Bathilde. D'Harmental did not 
say this, even to himself ; but the bad instinct which always 
impels our poor souls to evil whispered these thoughts to him, 
so that when he went to his toilette he suited his dress to the 
expression of his face — that is to say, that he dressed entirely 
in black, that his hair was arranged with a charming negli- 
gence, and that he left his waistcoat more than usually open, 
to give place to his shirt-frill, which fell with an ease full of 
coquetry. All this was done in the most pre-occupied and 
careless manner in the world ; for D'Harmental, brave as he 
was, could not help remembering that any minute he might be 
arrested ; but it was by instinct that, when the chevalier gave 
the last look in the glass, before leaving his little dressing- 
room, he smiled at himself with a melancholy which doubled 
the charm of his countenance. There was no mistake as 
to the meaning of this smile, for he went directly to the 
window. 

Perhaps Bathilde had also her projects for the moment 
when her neighbor should reappear, perhaps she had arranged 
a defence which should consist in not looking towards him, or 
in closing her window after a simple recognition ; but at the 
noise her neighbor's window made in opening, all was for- 
gotten, and she ran to the window, crying out : 

"Ah ! there you are. Mon Dieu / monsieur, how anxious 
you have made me I " 

This exclamation was ten times more than D'Harmental 
had hoped for. If he, on his part, had prepared some well- 
turned and eloquent phrases, they were all forgotten, and 
clasping his hands : 

" Bathilde I Bathilde I " he cried, " you are, then, as good as 
you are beautiful I " 

« Why good ? " asked Bathilde. « Did you not tell me that 
if I was an orphan you also were without parents ? Did you 
not say that I was your sister and you were my brother ? " 

" Then, Bathilde, you prayed for me ? '* 

" All night," replied the young girl, blushing. 



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174 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

<^ And I thanked chance for having saved me, when I owed 
all to an angel's prayers ! '' 

" The danger is then past ? " cried Bathilde. 

" The night was dark and gloomy," replied D'Harmental. 
" This morning, however, I was awakened by a ray of sun- 
shine which a cloud may again conceal : so it is with the 
danger I have run ; it has passed to give place to a great hap- 
piness — that of knowing you have thought of me, yet it may 
return. But stay,'' continued he, hearing steps on the stair- 
case, " there it is, perhaps, approaching my door." 

As he spoke, some one knocked three times at the chevalier's 
door. 

" Who is there ? " asked D'Harmental from the window, 
in a voice which, in spite of all his firmness, betrayed some 
emotion. 

" A friend," answered a voice. 

« Well ? " asked Bathilde, with anxiety. 

" Thanks to you, God still continues to protect me : it is 
a friend who knocks. Once again, thanks, Bathilde." And 
the chevalier closed his window, sending the young girl a last 
salute which was very like a kiss ; then he opened to the 
Abb^ Brigaud, who, beginning to be impatient, had knocked 
a second time. 

" Well," said the abb^, on whose face it was impossible to 
see the smallest change, << what has happened, then, my dear 
pupil, that you are shut in thus by bolts and bars ? Is it as a 
foretaste of the Bastile? " 

" Holla ! abb^," said D'Harmental, in a cheerful voice, " no 
such jokes, I beg ; they might bring misfortune." 

" But look I look ! " said Brigaud, throwing his eyes round 
him, " would not any one suppose they were visiting a con- 
spirator ? Pistols on the table, a sword on the pillow, and a 
hat and cloak on the chair. Ah ! my dear pupil, you are dis- 
composed, it appears to me I Come, put all this in order, that 
I may not be able to perceive, when I pay my paternal visit, 
what passes during my absence." 

D'Harmental obeyed, admiring, in this man of the Church, 
the sang-froid which he himself found it difficult to attain. 

"Very good," said Brigaud, watching him, "and this 
shoulder-knot which you have forgotten, and wKich was never 
made for you (for it dates from the time when you were in 
jackets) , put it away too ; who knows ? — you may want it." 



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THE CONSPIRACY. 175 

'*And what for, abbe?'' asked lyHarmental, laughing; 
" to attend the Regent's lev^e in ? " 

" Oh, no, but for a signal to some good fellow who is pass- 
ing ; come, put it away." 

*^My dear abb^," said D'Harmental, "if you are not the 
devil in person, you are at least one of his most intimate 
acquaintances." 

" Oh, no I I am a poor fellow who goes his own quiet way, 
and who, as he goes, looks high and low, right and left, that 
is all. Look, there is a ray of spring, the first, which knocks 
humbly at your window, and you do not open it ; one would 
suppose you were afraid of being seen. Ah, pardon! I did 
not know that, when your window opened, another must close." 

" My dear abb^, you are full of wit," replied D^Harmental, 
"but terribly indiscreet; so much so that if you were a 
musketeer instead of an abb^ I should quarrel with you." 

" And why ? Because I wish to open you a path to glory, 
fortune, and, perhaps, love ? It would be monstrous ingrati- 
tude." 

" Well, let us be friends, abb^," said D'Harmental, offering 
his hand, " and I shall not be sorry to have some news." 

" Of what ? " 

" How do I know ? Of the Rue des Bons-Enfans, where 
there has been a great deal going on, I believe ; of the arsenal, 
where, I believe, Madame du Maine has given a soiree; and 
even of the Regent, who, if I may believe a dream I had, came 
back to the Palais Royal very late and rather agitated." 

" All has gone well. The noise of the Ruc^ des Bons-Enfans, 
if there were any, is quite calm this morning ; Madame du 
Maine has as much gratitude for those whom important 
affairs kept away from the arsenal as she has contempt for 
those who were there ; finally, the Regent, dreaming last night, 
as usual, that he was King of Erance, has already forgotten 
that he was nearly the prisoner of the King of Spain. ITow 
we must begin again." 

"Ah, pardon, abb^," said D'Harmental; "but, with your 
permission, it is the turn of the others. I shall not be sorry 
to rest a little, myself." 

" Ah, that goes badly with the news I bring you." 

" What news ? " 

" It was decided last night that you should leave for Brit- 
tany this morning." 



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176 THE CHEVALIER D' HARMS NT AL. 

" For Brittany I — and what to do there ? '' 

" You will know when you are there." 

" And if I do not wish to go ? " 

"You will reflect, and go just the same." 

" And on what shall I reflect ? " 

"That it would be the act of a madman to interrupt an 
enterprise near its end for a love only at its beginning. To 
abandon the interest of a princess of the blood to gain the 
good graces of a grisette." 

" Abb^ ! " said D'Harmental. 

" Oh, we must not get angry, my dear chevalier ; we must 
reason ! You engaged voluntarily in the affair we have in 
hand, and you promised to aid us in it. Would it be loyal 
to abandon us now for a repulse ? No, no, my dear pupil ; 
you must have a little more connection in your ideas if you 
mix in a conspiracy." 

" It is just because I have connection in my ideas," replied 
D'Harmental, " that this time, as at first, before undertsiing 
anything new I wish to know what it is. I offered myself 
to be the arm, it is true ; but, before striking, the arm must 
know what the head has decided. I risk my liberty. I risk 
my life. I risk something perhaps dearer to me still. I will 
risk all this in my own manner, with my eyes open, and not 
closed. Tell me first what I am to do in Brittany, and then 
perhaps I will go there." 

" Your orders are that you should go to Kennes. There you 
will unseal this letter, and find your instructions." 

" My orders I my instructions ! " 

"Are not these the terms which a general uses to his 
officers ? And are they in the habit of disputing the com- 
mands they receive ? " 

" Not when they are in the service ; but you know I am in 
it no longer." 

" It is true. I forgot to tell you that you had reentered it." 

"I!" 

"Yes, you. I have your brevet in my pocket." And 
Brigand drew from his pocket a parchment, which he pre- 
sented to D'Harmental, who unfolded it slowly, questioning 
Brigand with his looks. 

" A brevet ! " cried the chevalier ; " a brevet as colonel in 
one of the four regiments of carabineers! Whence comes 
this brevet ? " 



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THE CONSPIRACY. 177 

" Look at the signature." 

" Louis-Auguste, Due du Maine ! " 

"Well, what is there astonishing in that? As grand 
master of artillery he has the nomination of twelve regiments. 
He gives you one to replace that which was taken from you, 
and, as your general, he sends you on a mission. Is it cus- 
tomary for soldiers in such a case to refuse the honor their 
chief does them in thinking of them ? I am a churchman, 
and do not know." 

" No, no, my dear abb^. It is, on the contrary, the duty 
of every officer of the King to obey his chief." 

"Besides which," replied Brigand, negligently, "in case 
the conspiracy failed, you would only have obeyed orders, and 
might throw the whole responsibility of your actions on 
another." 

" Abb^ ! " cried D'Harmental a second time. 

" Well, if you do not go I shall make you feel the spur." 

" Yes, I am going. Excuse me, but there are some moments 
when I am half mad. I am now at the orders of Monsieur du 
Maine, or rather at those of madame. May I not see her 
before I go to fall at her feet and tell her that I am ready to 
sacrifice my life at a word f ronl her ? " 

" There, now, you are going into the opposite extreme ; but 
no, you must not die ; you must live — live to triumph over 
our enemies, and wear a beautiful uniform, with which you 
will turn all the women's heads." 

" Oh, my dear Brigand, there is but one I wish to please." 

"Well, you shall please her first, and the others after- 
wards." 

" When must I go ? " 

« This instant." 

" You will give me half an hour ? " 

" Not a second." 

" But I have not breakfasted." 

" You shall come and breakfast with me." 

" I have only two or three thousand francs here, and that is 
not enough." 

" You will find a year's pay in your carriage." 

« And clothes ? " 

" Your trunks are full. Had I not your measure ? You 
will not be discontented with my tailor." 

" But at least, abbe, tell me when I may return." 



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178 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

" In six weeks to a day the Duchesse du Maine will expect 
you at Sceaux.*' 

" But at least you will permit me to write a couple of lines." 
" Well, I will not be too exacting." 
The chevalier sat down and wrote : 

"Deab Bathilde: 

" To-day it is more than a danger which threatens me ; it is 
a misfortune which overtakes me. I am forced to leave this 
instant, without seeing you, without bidding you adieu. I 
shall be six weeks absent. In the name of heaven, Bathilde, 
do not forget him who will not pass an hour without thinking 
of you. 

« Raoul." 

This letter written, folded, and sealed, the chevalier rose 
and went to the window ; but, as we have said, that of his 
neighbor was closed when Brigaud appeared. There was then 
no means of sending to Bathilde the despatch destined for her. 
D'Harmental made an impatient gesture. At this moment 
they heard a scratching at the door. The abb^ opened it and 
Mirza appeared, guided by her instinct, and her greediness, to 
the giver of the bonbons, and making lively demonstrations of 

joy- 

" Well," said Brigaud, " who shall say God is not good to 
lovers ? You wanted a messenger, and here is one." 

" Abb^, abb^," said D'Harmental, shaking his head, " do not 
enter into my secrets before I wish it." 

" Oh," replied Brigaud, " a confessor, you know, is an 
abyss." 

" Then not a word will pass your lips ? " 

" On my honor, chevalier." 

lyHarmental tied the letter to Mirza's neck, gave her a 
piece of sugar as a reward for the commission she was about 
to accomplish ; and, half sad at having lost his beautiful 
neighbor for six weeks, half glad at having regained forever 
his beautiful uniform, he took his money, put his pistols into 
his pockets, fastened on his sword, took his hat and cloak, and 
followed the Abb6 Brigaud. 



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THE ORDER OF THE HONEY BEE. 179 

CHAPTER XXn. 

THE ORDER OF THE HONEY BEE. 

At the appointed day and hour — that is to say at four 
o'clock in the afternoon, exactly six weeks after his departure 
from the capital — D'Harmental returned from Brittany and 
was driven into the courtyard of the Palace of Sceaux at the 
top speed of his two post-horses. 

Footmen in full livery were standing on the steps, and it 
was evident that preparations had been made for a fSte of 
some kind. D'Harmental passed through the double row of 
servants, crossed the vestibule, and entered a large drawing- 
room, where he found himself in the company of about twenty 
people, the majority of whom were already known to him. 
They were standing about in groups, chatting to one another 
whilst awaiting the arrival of their hostess. Amongst others, 
he noticed the Comte de Laval, the Marquis de Pompadour, 
the poet Saint-Genest, the old Abb^ de Chaulieu, Saint- Aulaire, 
Mesdames de Kohan, de Croissy, de Charost, and de Brissac. 

D'Harmental went straight up to the Marquis de Pompadour, 
who, of all this distinguished company, was the best known to 
him. They shook hands and then D'Harmental, drawing him 
aside, said: 

" My dear marquis, can you tell me how it is, that whereas 
I came here expecting to take part in some solemn and tedious 
political function I now find myself in the midst of prepara- 
tions for a f @te ? " 

" I am afraid I cannot enlighten you, my dear chevalier," 
replied Pompadour. " In fact, I am as much surprised as 
yourself, for I have only just returned from Normandy." 

" Ah, so you too have just arrived ? " 

" Yes, only this moment ; and I put the same question to 
Laval that you put to me ; but with no success. For he has 
only very recently returned from Switzerland and knows no 
more than we do." 

At this moment the Baron de Valef was announced. 

" Pardieu ! here 's the very man we want," exclaimed Pom- 
padour. " Valef is one of the duchess' most intimate friends 
and he will be able to tell us all about it." 



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180 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

So lyHarmeiital and Pompadour made their way towards 
Valef, who came forward to meet them. 

IKHarmental and Valef had not seen each other since the 
day of the duel, with which this story opens. They shook 
haiids warmly and after the first greetings were over : 

" My dear Valef/^ said D^Harmental, " can you tell me the 
meaning of this great assemblage? I came here expecting 
only a few friends.'^ 

" Faith, I can not offer any explanation," replied Valef ; " for 
I have oidy just arrived from Madrid." 

" Why, it seems that every one has only just arrived from 
somewhere or another ! " said Pompadour, laughing ; " ah, 
there 's Malezieux. I hope that he has not just returned from 
Dombes or Chatenay. At any rate he has already been 
received by Madame du Maine, so we shall learn at last what 
it is all about.'' 

As he spoke Pompadour made a sign to Malezieux, but the 
worthy Chancellor was too courteous to omit paying his 
respects in the first place to the ladies. He bowed to Madames 
de Bohan, de Charost, de Croissy, and de Brissac, then he 
made his way towards the spot where Pompadour, D'Harmen- 
tal, and Valef were standing. 

" Faith, my dear Malezieux," said Pompadour, " we have 
been awaiting your arrival with the greatest impatience. It 
seems that we have all just returned from the four quarters of 
the globe ; Valef from the South, D'liarmental from the West, 
Laval from the East, myself from the North, and you — well 
I don't know where you have come from. So I am bound to 
say we are curious to know why we have all been summoned 
to Sceaux." 

" You are invited to take part in a very solemn ceremony," 
replied Malezieux ; " in other words, to assist at the investi- 
ture of a new knight of the Order of the Honey Bee." 

" Feste ! " said D'Harmental, who had been rather annoyed 
that they had not given him time even to call at the Rue da 
Temps-Perdu before coming to Sceaux, "now I understand 
why Madame du Maine insisted on our being punctual, and 
for my part I am very much obliged to her Highness." 

" You must understand, young man," interrupted Malezieux, 
" that to-night there is no Madame du Maine or her Highness. 
Our president on this occasion is the beautiful fairy Ludovise, 
the ailwise and powerful queen of the bees to whom we must 



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THE ORDER OF THE HONEY BEE. 181 

all render homage and obedience. And when you learn whom 
we are about to admit to the Order of the Honey Bee you will 
be glad that you lost no time in coming.^' 

" Who is to be the new knight ? " asked Valef ; for he was 
naturally anxious to know for whose investiture he had been 
summoned from such a distance. 

" His Excellency, the Prince de Cellamare." 

•<Ah, now I am beginning to understand/' said Pompa- 
dour. 

« So am I," said Valef. 

" And so am I," said D'Harmental. 

" Very good," replied Malezieux, smiling. " I have no doubt 
that before the end of the evening you will understand better 
still. In the meantime, you must place yourself in our hands, 
D'Harmental. It is not the first time that you have allowed 
yourself to be blindfolded, I believe ? '' 

Malezieux then turned and went up to a little flat-faced 
man with long smooth hair, who was looking about him with 
some curiosity, seemingly much embarrassed at finding him- 
self in such distinguished company. D'Harmental had not 
noticed him before, and asked Pompadour who the little man 
was. Pompadour replied that he was the poet, Lagrange- 
Chancel. 

The two young men looked at the poet with mixed feelings 
of wonder and contempt; then leaving Pompadour to greet 
the Cardinal de Polignac, who entered at this moment, they 
betook themselves to a window recess, where they could 
quietly discuss the coming event. 

The Order of the Honey Bee was founded by the Duchesse 
du Maine and had been suggested by a quotation from Tasso's 
" Aminta," which she had assumed as a motto on the occasion 
of her marriage. It ran as follows : 

^^ Piccola si, mafapuo gravi le feriteP 

This motto Malezieux, who was deeply devoted to the great 
Condi's granddaughter, rendered thus : 

" The tiny bee a grievoug wound imparts — 
Beware his sting, death dealing to his prey, 
Escape — if still thou canst — his honeyed darts, 
The cunning rogue will strike — and fly away." 

This order, like all others, had its decoration, its officers, and 
its grand master. The decoration consisted of a medal, on 



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182 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

one side of which a beehive was represented and on the other 
a queen bee. It was suspended from the buttonhole bj an 
orange-colored ribbon and all knights of the order when they 
came to Sceaux had to wear this decoration. The officers of 
the order were Malezieux, SaLnt-Anlaire, the Abb^ de Chaulieu, 
and Saint-Grenest. The Duchesse du Maine was the grand 
master. There were twenty-nine members, and this number 
could not be exceeded. The death of M. de Kevers had left 
a vacancy and, as Malezieuz had told I^Harmentaly this 
vacancy was to be filled up by the nomination of the Prince 
de Cellamare. 

The fact was that Madame du Maine thought it advisable 
to conceal the political objects of this meeting by giving it 
the air of a social gathering. She knew that a fSte held in 
the gardens of Sceaux would be less likely to arouse suspicion 
in the minds of Dubois and Voyer d'Argenson than a solemn 
reception at the arsenal 

As we shall see, everything was done to give the Order of 
the Honey Bee its ancient splendor and to revive tiie former 
magnificence of the famous ^^ Nuits blanches" which had been 
so much ridiculed by Louis XIV. 

Punctually at four o'clock, the hour fixed upon for the 
ceremony, the doors of the salon were thrown open and in a 
gallery, draped with satin on which silver bees were embroid- 
ered, the beautiful fairy Ludovise was seated on a raised 
throne. In her hand she held a golden wand and her slight 
figure and delicate features gave her quite an ethereal appear- 
ance. At a wave of her hand all the courtiers left the salon 
and, entering the gallery, stood in a semi-circle round her dais. 
The chief officers of the order took up their positions on the 
steps of the throne. When all were in their places, a side 
door opened and Bessac, ensign of the Due du Maine's guard, 
entered, wearing a herald's dress, which consisted of a cherry- 
colored robe embroidered in silver bees and a cap in the shape 
of a beehive. He advanced and announced in a loud voice : 

" His Excellency, the Prince de Cellamare." 

The prince entered, and, advancing with stately dignity, 
knelt on one knee before the queen bee and waited.^ 

" Prince of Samarcand," said the herald, " lend an attentive 
ear to the rules of the order to which the fairy Ludovise is 

^It i» scarcely necest^ary to inform our rcaderd that all the<«e detaiU are absolutely 
historical. They are not invenied nor taken fro.n " T^ JMalado ijiiai/inaire," or "L© 
Bourgeois gentilhonune/' but copied literally from the ** Divertissemeua de Bceftux." 



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THE ORDER OF THE HONEY BEE. 183 

pleased to admit you^ and seriously consider the duties you 
are about to undertake.'^ 

The prince bowed his head as a sign that he fully under- 
stood the importance of the position he was about to hold. 

The herald continued : 

" Article 1. You must solemnly swear to render due homage 
and obedience to the fairy Ludovise, Grand Dictatress of the 
Incomparable Order of the Honey Bee. Swear by the sacred 
Mount Hymettus.'' 

At this moment a soft strain of music was heard and a choir 
of invisible musicians chanted the following words : 

^^ Swear, my lord of Samarcand ; 
Swear, great son of the great Khan." 

" I swear by the sacred Mount Hymettus/' said the prince. 
The choir then took up the refrain, while all the voices 
joined in unison : 

** II principe di SamarGand, 
II digno figlio del gran' Khan, 
Ha giarato : 
8iariceTuto."> 

This refrain was repeated three times and then the herald 
continued : 

" Article 2. You must also solemnly swear to be present 
at the Palace of Sceaux, the headquarters of the Order of the 
Honey Bee, whenever a conference is held. You must put 
aside all other business, nor will your absence be excused on 
any trifling pretext, such as gout, catarrh or Burgundy itch.*' * 

The choir then resumed their chant : 

<^ Swear, prince of Samarcand, 
Swear, great son of the great Khan." 

" By the sacred Mount Hymettus, I swear," said the prince. 

"Article 3," continued the herald. "You must solemnly 
swear to perfect yourself in all dances, such as the Fursten- 
berg, the Dervish dance, the pistol dance, the running dance, 
the Saraband, the jig, etc. ; and to practise them constantly, 

1 '• The prince of Samarcand, the great son of the Great Khan, has sworn; let him be 
received." 

* We have made ezhanstive researches, bni cannot discove* what are the canses or 
effects of this diMease. 



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184 THE CHEVALIER ifHARMENTAL. 

partacnlarly during the dog days. You must on no aoooont 
stop dancing, nnless yon are ordered to do so, nntil you are 
balJied in perspiration and foaming at the mouth/' 
The choir : 



^ Sweir, prince of Samarcand, 
Swear, great ton of the great Khan." 



The prince : 

^ By the sacred Mount Hymettns, I swear." 

The herald : 

** Article 4. You must promise and swear to scale all hay- 
stacks, no matter how high they may be and however great 
the danger of falling.'' 

The choir : 



* Swear, prince of Samarcand, 
Swear, great ion of the great Khan.' 



The prince : 

« By the sacred Mount Hymettus, I swear." 

The herald : 

''Article 5. You must promise and swear to take under 
your protection honey bees of all kinds and never to harm 
them in any way. If they should attack you and sting your 
arms, legs, or hands you must not brush them away, even 
though your limbs should swell till they are as large as those 
of your major-domo." 

The choir : 

<< Swear, prince of Samarcand, 
Swear, great son of the great Khan." 

The prince : 

" By the sacred Mount Hymettus, I swear." 

The herald : 

"Article 6. You must promise and swear to hold sacred 
the work of the honey bees, and, in accordance with the 
example of our grand master, to abhor the profane use made 
of it by the apothecaries, even though you should have par- 
taken of it till you are bursting with repletion." 

The choir : 

*^ Swear, prince of Samarcand, 
Swear, great son of the great Khan." 



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THE ORDER OF THE HONEY BEE. 185 

The prince: 

" By the sacred Mount Hymettus, I swear.'' 

The herald : 

" Article seventh and last. Finally, you must promise to 
swear and guard carefully the glorious badge of your office, 
and never to appear before your queen without wearing the 
medal with which she is about to decorate you." 

The choir : 

** Swear, prince of Samarcand, 
Swear, great eon of the great Khan.'* 

The prince : 

" By the sacred Mount Hymettus, I swear." 
As soon as this last oath had been sworn, the choir repeated 
the refrain as before : 

*^ II principe di Samarcand, 
U digno figlio del gran' E^an, 
Ha g^arato ; 
SiariceYuto." 

Then the fairy Ludovise arose, and taking the medal with 
its orange-colored ribbon from the hands of Malezieux, beck- 
oned to the prince to approach. She then repeated the fol- 
lowing lines, to which the prince's rank and mission gave 
speci£^ significance: 

** Most worthy envoy of a mighty Elng, 
Thessander 1 Take from oar own royal hand 
The symbol of the order promised Thee I 
Learn from onr lips, this token doth thee bring 
Within the circle of onr chosen band 
Of friends — Arise, Cheyalier of the Beel " 

The priDce knelt, and the fairy Ludovise passed round his 
neck the ribbon from which the medal was suspended. At 
the same moment the whole choir with one accord chanted 
the following refrain : 

** Viva sempre, viva et in onore cresca 
U novo cavaliere della Mosca." > 

At the close of this verse folding doors at the side of the 

^ *' Live for ever, live and increase in honor, — the new knight of the bee ! ** 



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186 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

gallery were thrown open, disclosing a brilliantly lighted hall 
in which a magnificent banquet was served. 

The new knight of the bee offered his hand to the fairy 
Ludovise, and together they entered the banqueting hall, 
followed by the rest of the company. As they passed 
through the door they were stopped by a beautiful child 
representing Cupid. In his hands he held a crystal bowl 
which contained small rolls of paper ; one for each guest. It 
was a novel kind of lottery, befitting the unique ceremony 
which we have described. 

Of the fifty rolls of paper which the bowl contained, ten 
were inscribed with one of the following words: Song, 
madrigal, epigram, impromptu, etc. Those who drew tickets 
thus inscribed were obliged to discharge their obligations dur- 
ing the repast. The others had nothing to do but to eat, 
drink, and applaud the performers. 

On learning what was expected of them, the four ladies 
pleaded their incompetence and begged to be excused from 
taking part in the lottery. But Madame du Maine declared 
that all must take their chance. At the same time ladies 
would be permitted to choose a collaborator from among the 
men, and any such collaborator could claim a kiss as his 
reward. In fact this was quite a pastoral performance. 

As soon as this amendment had been made, the fairy Ludo- 
vise put her little hand into the crystal bowl and drew out 
one of the rolls of paper, which she unfolded. Upon it was 
written the word " impromptu." 

The rest of the company then followed her example, and 
whether by chance or not the pieces of paper containing the 
words "song" or "madrigal" fell to the lot of Chaulieu, 
Saint-Genest, Malezieux, Saint-Aulaire, and Lagrange-Chancel. 

The other slips of paper containing words were drawn by 
Mesdames de Croissy, de Itohan, and de Brissac, who immedi- 
ately chose as collaborators Malezieux, Saint-Genest, and the 
Abb^ de Chaulieu. Thus these three gentlemen had a double 
task allotted them. 

As for lyHarmental he was delighted to find that he had 
drawn a blank, so he had nothing to do but to eat and drink 
and applaud the others. 

As soon as these preliminaries had been completed, the 
guests seated themselves at the table in the places which had 
been assigned to them. 



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POETS OF THE REGENCY. 187 

CHAPTER XXm. 

POETS OF THE BEGENGY. 

Ik justice to the Duchesse da Maine we must hasten to 
explain that this famous lottery — which recalled those 
which used to take place in the glorious days of the Hdtel 
Rambouillet — was not really as ridiculous as to a superficial 
observer it might appear to be. In the first place, the compo- 
sition of verses, sonnets, and epigrams was much in vogue 
during the period of which we are writing ; and they faith- 
fully portray the frivolous spirit of the time. The blaze of 
poetic fervor, which had been kindled by the genius of Cor- 
neille and Racine, had almost died out. Only a few flames 
flickered here and there for a while in certain select circles. 
There was a special reason for introducing this contest of wit 
on this occasion, for, since there were not more than half a 
dozen persons acquainted with the real object of the f^te, it 
was absolutely necessary that the rest of the guests should be 
diverted in some way during the two hours that they were 
seated at the banquet, and thus be prevented from too closely 
scrutinizing the expressions on the faces of the other guests. 
The duchess had rightly concluded that this form of 
entertainment would admirably suit the purpose, and its 
introduction eventually made Sceaux famous and won it the 
appellation of « The Gallery of Wit." 

There was not much life or gaiety at the commencement of 
the banquet. It was some little time before the guests felt on 
sufficiently easy terms to converse freely with one another; 
besides, whether poetically inclined or not, it was a necessity 
for all to satisfy the pangs of hunger. However, as soon as 
the first course had been removed, the hum of conversation 
was heard. But the beautiful fairy Ludovise remained 
silent. Probably her mind was occupied with the impromptu 
verses which she had to compose in accordance with the rules 
of the lottery. She was determined not to set a bad example 
by soliciting the aid of a collaborator ; and this silence on her 
part naturally cast a gloom over the rest of the company. 
Malezieuz saw this, and in order to set matters right addressed 
the duchess : 

" Beautiful fairy Ludovise,'* he said, " your subjects are 



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188 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

much distressed at your unusual silence and beg me to lay 
their grievance before you/' 

" Alas ! " replied the duchess, " unhappily I am in the same 
dilemma as was the crow in the fable, who wished to imitate 
the eagle, and, like him, fly off with a sheep in his claws. 
These impromptu verses are beyond my powers, and I do not 
know how I am to overcome the diflSculty/' 

"In that case,'' replied Malezieux, " we must reluctantly 
condemn the laws which you have imposed upon us. For 
now that we have experienced the delight of listening to your 
voice, and enjoyed the charm of your wit, we can no longer 
live without them. 

•* Princeu ! Thy every ^word — thy grace — thy art 
With rapture fill my oyerflowing heart ; 
Pardon — if verse, that so nnwUling flows, 
Bat makes me langoish, lady, for thy prose I " 

" My dear Malezieux ! '' cried the duchess, " those verses 
will do admirably for me, and save me the trouble of compos- 
ing an impromptu. So now I have fulfilled my obligations 
. to this good company, and it only remains for me to pay my 
debt to you, which was agreed should be a kiss.'' 

" Bravo I " cried the guests. 

"Now, gentlemen," continued the duchess, "all private 
conversation must cease. There must be no more whispering. 
Listen to me, my Apollo," she added, turning to Saint-Aulaire, 
who was talking in a low voice to Madame de Eohan, " we 
will begin by asking you a question. Please tell us all what 
you have just whispered into your charming neighbor's ear." 

This was evidently an embarrassing question, for Madame 
de Eohan blushed up to her eyes and looked imploringly at 
Saint-Aulaire, who reassured her by a gesture and then 
turned to the duchess : 

" Madame," he said, " I will reply to your question and at 
the same time fulfil tiie obligation imposed upon me by the 
lottery." 

He then recited the following madrigal : 

*< The flighty goddess, who flnds pleasure best 
Trying to worm the secret from my breast, 
Were I Apollo, ne'er should be my muse ; 
She should be Thetis and my sunlight lose." 



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POETS OF THE REGENCY. 189 

This madrigal, which five years later was the means of 
securing the admittance of Saint-Aulaire to the Academy, was 
received with rapturous applause. Then, after a silence of a 
few moments, the duchess turned to Laval and asked him why 
he was not eating. 

" You forget, madame, that my jaw bone is broken," said 
Lava], pointing to his bandaged face. 

" Forget your wounds I Never ! " replied the duchess, " for 
were they not received in defence of our country and in the 
service of our illustrious sovereign Louis XIV. ? No, my dear 
Laval, it is the Regent who has forgotten. We never forget." 

" At any rate, comte," said Malezieux, " you can only feel 
proud of a wound received in so glorious a cause. 

^^ Though Mars* dread thunderbolts have smitten sore 
Thy frame in thousand wondrous feats of war, 
(Such feats as but a Laval e*er attains I) 
Dear friend, the greatest pleasure yet remains I 
Thou still canst swallow, — so I dare to think 
Thou may'st find consolation yet — in drink,** 

"Yes, yes," said the Cardinal de Polignac, "but if this 
weather lasts, it is a question whether LavsJ will get any wine 
at all to drink this year." 

" What do you mean ? " asked Chaulieu. 

"Why, my dear Anacreon, is it possible that you are so 
ignorant of what goes on in the heavens ? " 

" Alas," said Chaulieu, turning to the duchess, " as you 
know, I am so blind that I can not even see the stars, but I 
am not the less anxious to know what is going on up there." 

" All I can tell you is that my vine-dtessers in Burgundy 
send me word that continual sunshine has parched up every- 
thing, and that unless we have rain within a few days the 
vineyards will be ruined." 

" Do you hear that, Chaulieu ? " said the duchess, laugh- 
ing ; " do you hear what the cardinal says about rain ? For 
I know you have a horror of water." 

" That 's perfectly true," said Chaulieu ; " still there 's a 
way left of reconciling all difficulties." 

*< Gossip I From water horror-struck I turn : 
At Tery sight of it with rage I bum, 
And shudder like a madman ; ne'er the less 
In one respect — one only — I confess 
My mind is changed to-day. I own with pain 
Our Tineyards languish, parched through want of rain. 



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190 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

*^ Heavens ! Let thoaumd million raindrops dance ! 
Let loose a drenching downpour orer France ! 
She needs it ! See I she faints I she 's deadly pale I 
She totters I Quick — or ere her limbs qnite fail I 
I '11 drink in shelter, till the storm shall pass, 
/want no drop of water in my glass I " 

" At any rate spare us to-night, my dear Chaulieu," said the 
duchess, "please wait till to-morrow. For rain would spoil 
the entertainment which our good De Launay — your favorite 
— has prepared for us in the garden.'^ 

" Now I understand why we have not the pleasure of that 
brilliant lady's society at our banquet. She has sacrified her- 
self to give us pleasure, and, by way of reward, we forget her 
entirely ! What base ingratitude ! At any rate, let us drink 
her health now, Chaulieu." 

So saying. Pompadour raised his glass, and the elderly 
admirer of the future Madame de Sta^l did the same. 

"Wait one moment!'' cried Malezieux, holding out his 
empty glass to Saint-Genest, " don't leave me out." 

" The theory of a yacuum, I tow 
No reasonable being can allow I 
'T is arrant heresy, and my delight 
Shall be against it everywhere to fight I 
Me *mong8t its patrons you shall nerer class I 
In proof whereof — Saint-Genest! fill my glass !" 

Saint-Genest hastened to comply with the chancellor's 
request, but, as he put the bottle down, either by accident or 
design, he upset a lamp, and the light was extinguished. The 
duchess, whose watchful eyes nothing escaped, rallied him on 
his clumsiness. This seemed to be just what the worthy abb^ 
desired, for he immediately turned to her and said : 

<< Beautiful fairy, you at least should not find fault with me. 
What you call clumsiness was really an act of homage to your 
eyes." 

<< Homage to my eyes, my dear abb^ ! How do you explain 
that?" 

'< Listen, and I will prove my words," replied Saint-Genest. 

**> My muse — though unrefined and clumsy — tries 
To prove to you, my friends, in serious wise. 
That so much light 's not needed in the skies I 
For, soon as our august Aminta plies 
Those brilliant flashes of her glorious eyes 
Each other constellation fades — and dies I " 



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POETS OF THE REGENCY. 191 

This sparkling madrigal would no doubt have received the 
applause which it deserved, but, unfortunately, just as Saint- 
Genest recited the last line, Madame du Maine was seized with 
an uncontrollable desire to sneeze, and made so much noise in 
doing so that, to Saint-Genest's chagrin, the last words of the 
madrigal were lost upon the audience. But among so many 
wits the incident was not likely to be thrown away, and what 
was prejudicial to one guest was turned to good account by 
another. The duchess had scarcely recovered herself when 
Malezieux seized the opportunity and cried : 

* * I *m surprised ! I 'm afraid 
Of the noise that is made 
By our beautiful goddess's nose ! 
Though the princess is tall 
Still her nose is quite small ! 
Which astounds me, as you may suppose ! " 

The company was so struck with the ready wit of these 
humorous lines that there was silence, and some moments 
elapsed ere it could descend from such poetic heights to the 
commonplace of prose. 

Meanwhile D^Harmental — whose blank lottery ticket 
exempted him from the task of composing impromptus — had 
for the most part remained a silent spectator of the scene, only 
now and again exchanging a word and a smile with Valef. 
Though the minds of some of the guests could not but be pre- 
occupied with the serious business for which they had been 
summoned, the majority of the company wore an air of care- 
less gaiety which prevented any one suspecting that a con- 
spiracy was brewing. This was just what the Duchesse du 
Maine had intended. The satisfaction she felt in seeing her 
ambitious projects about to be crowned with success confirmed 
her confidence in her own powers, and the gay humor and 
sparkling wit of the beautiful fairy Ludovise were never more 
conspicuous. Moreover, she was admirably supported by 
Malezieux, Saint-Aulaire, Chaulieu, and Saint-Genest. 

At last the banquet came to an end. Faint sounds of 
music floated in through the windows, intimating to the guests 
that further entertainments had been prepared for their 
diversion. 

Madame du Maine then announced that she had promised 
Fontenelle the evening before to watch the rising of Venus, 
and that the author of *' Les Mondes " had that day sent her 



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192 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

a magnificent telescope, whicli she hoped would enable the 
company to observe the beautiful planet to the best advantage. 
This announcement gave Malezieux an opportunity of launch- 
ing another madrigal, and when the duchess expressed her 
fear that Venus might already have risen, he said : 

" No, beautiful fairy, you must know better than any one 
else that this is impossible : 

<< That we may scan the heavens from the sward 
Of your fair gardens, lo ! the glass is drawn ; 
Oh ! let ns, princess, leave the festive board, 
And study Venus' beauty till the dawn : 
The signal give to end this seance long, 
Oh, peerless lady, who canst do no wrong ; 
Venus will never dare to rise and shine 
While sits your Highness lingering o'er the wine." 

Malezieux thus closed the contest of witty impromptus as 
brilliantly as he had opened it, and, amidst general applause, 
the assembly rose from table. At this moment Lagrange- 
Chancel, who had remained silent all the evening, turned to 
the duchess and said : 

" Madame, I also have a debt to pay, and, although no one 
has called upon me to discharge my obligations, my conscience 
will not permit me to neglect my duty." 

" That is quite right, my Archilochus," replied the duchess. 
" I hope you are going to give us a sonnet." 

"No, madame," replied Lagrange-Chancel ; "Fate has 
ordained that I shall recite an ode, and with good reason. 
I havo no talent for composing the kind of poetry which is so 
fashionable nowadays. Nemesis is my muse and my inspira- 
tion comes, not from heaven, but from hell. I shall deem it a 
favor, duchess, if you will request the company to give me for 
a moment the attention which has been bestowed upon others." 

The duchess made no reply, but resumed her seat; her 
guests followed her example. Then there was a moment's 
silence, during which all eyes were fixed with some anxiety 
on this man who evoked the goddess of vengeance as his 
muse, and openly avowed that Acheron was for him the 
Hippocrene from which he drew his inspirations. 

Then Lagrange-Chancel rose ; a menacing light shone in his 
eyes, and a bitter smile curled his lip. In low but thrilling 
tones, which well matched the significance of the words he 
uttered, he recited the following stanzas, the echoes of which 



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POETS OF THE REGENCY. 193 

reached the Palais Eoyal itself, and — as Saint-Simon testifies 
— brought tears of shame and indignation to the Regent^s 
eyes: 

'< Ye danntleflB pair,^ whose scathing speech 
Stirred Greece and Rome in days of yore, 
And goaded them to wage, 'gainst each 

Of tyrants twain, relentless war, 
Fired by your courage — undismayed 

I burn to follow where ye led ! 
To crush a monster, still more vile 

Than those, your aid I humbly ask. 
Grant me some measure of your bile 
To help me in the mighty task. 

^^ His infant hatred still surrives ; 

As child, as man, 'tis widely known, 
He raged (and rages ) 'gainst the lives 

That stand betwixt him and the throne* 
Maddened by this depraved idea 

He courted Circ6 and Medea,' 
And made their arts his pleasure sole ; 

Thinking their unclean rites — to fill 
The days — a worthy pastime, till 

The time should come to win his goal. 

'^ Grim pilot of the Styx, prepare 

Thy dismal bark ! nor dread 
The freight that Philip sendeth there, 

The shades of royal dead I 
Alas I the oft renewed distress. 

And shame and scathe without redress ! 
The tear their sad eyes never leaves ; 

With ceaseless sobs each bosom heaves. 
Like as across the watery waste 

Wave follows wave with restless haste, — 

'' So these, who mourn a murdered sire,' 

By the same hand bereft of life, 
To Hades pass, in sequence dire 

Brother and brother * — husband — wife I ' 
Towards two sons ' left (oh I worst of all 

The horrors that poor France befall) 
Now sweeps Fate's scythe with grim intent I 

The first has shared his forbears' doom, 
The second victim ' — haggard — faint 

Awaits his summons to the tomb ! 

1 DemOBtbenes and Cicero. 

'As is well known the Dnod'Orleans possessed a conriderable knowledge of chem- 
istry. It was the chemical experiments, which he made in conjunction with Humbert, 
which gave rise to the series of calunmies which the survival of Louis XV. proved to 
have been baseless. 

*The elder Dauphin. * Dues de Bourgogne and de Berri. 

* M. le Dauphin and Mme. la Dauphine. 

« Sons of the young Dauphin. ^ Louis XV. 



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194 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

** King,* tsted with good fortune, Tiee 

And adolstion from thy Mrth, 
Two generations tliall Bnffice 

To wipe thy race from off this earthi 
Thon knowett well this eTil*8 source, 

The minister,* without remorse. 
Of the loathed prince, whom all decry; 

With his accomplice let him die I 
Their punishment shall guarantee 

The span of life that 's left totheel 

** Impeach this prince of cowards ! Fear 

Hath conquered him already. Sire. 
Let him in impotent despair 

Detested — as he 11 red — expire I 
On his accursed head let fall 

The fate of Kithridates, driren 
To bay by Roman arms, for all 

His crimes at last to justice giyen ! 
Let him find deatii, lone, hope&ss, banned. 

Poisoned by his own guilty hand ! " 

It is quite impossible to describe the effect produced by the 
recital of these stanzas, which so vividly contrasted with the 
madrigals of Saint-Aolairey the sonnets of Chaulieu, and 
the witty verses of Malezienx. The company gazed at each 
other in silence, as if alarmed at finding themselves confronted 
by the base calumnies which until now they had scarcely 
dared to whisper in secret, much less to drag into the broad 
light of day. The duchess, who had been the most inclined 
to give credence to these sinister rumors, turned pale at the 
recital of this ode, which, like a monstrous hydra, suddenly 
appeared before her, rearing its six heads and darting out its 
venomous tongues. The Prince de Cellamare did not know 
how to hide his agitation, and the Cardinal de Polignac's hand 
visibly trembled as he nervously fingered his lace ruffles. 

The silence that fell on the assembly when the poet rose 
remained unbroken even after he had ended his recital. 
Madame du Maine, who saw disapproval written plainly on 
the faces of even her most devoted followers, rose and went 
into the gardens accompanied by her guests. 

Upon the great steps D'Harmental suddenly ran up against 
Lagrange-Chancel, who was returning to fetch a handkerchief 
which the duchess had dropped. 

" Pardon, chevalier," said the angry poet, drawing himself 

> Louli XIV. 'Humbert, the alchflmlst. 



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QUEEN OF THE GREENLANDERS. 195 

up and fixing lyHarmental with his beady eyes, " but do you 
wish to trample upon me ? '' 

"Well, monsieur," replied I^Harmental, looking down on 
him with as much disgust as if he had been a toad or a viper, 
" I certainly should do so, if only I felt sure that I could 
crush you." 

So saying the chevalier turned, and taking Yalef's arm went 
down with him into the garden. 



CHAPTER XXIV. 

QUEEN OF THE 6BEENLANDEBS. 

As the guests already understood from what they heard 
during the repast, and had been led to expect from the nature 
of the entertainments which the duchess was known to give 
at her Palace of Sceaux, the banquet was only the prelude to 
further festivities in the spacious gardens. 

These gardens, which had been laid out by Le N6tre for 
Colbert, and sold by the latter to the Due du Maine, had now, 
under the supervision of the duchess, been transformed into a 
veritable fairyland. The French gardens, with their long 
avenues of limes, their pleached alleys, their yews shaped and 
trimmed to represent spirals and pyramids and various fan- 
tastic forms, were more in keeping with the mythological 
representations, so much in vogue during this reign, than were 
the English gardens with their meagre clumps of trees, tor- 
tuous paths and confined horizons. The gardens of Sceaux, 
extending unbroken to the shores of a beautiful lake, out of 
which rose the pavilion of Aurora — so-called because it was 
from this pavilion that the dawn of day was announced, and 
the signal given for the guests to retire to their homes — 
were, with their grounds for games and sports, truly magnifi- 
cent. The guests were filled with surprise and delight as 
they stepped out of the palace and saw before them a pano- 
rama of forest trees, linked together by graceful chains of 
hanging lamps, which made night almost as brilliant as day. 
Strains of sweet music were wafted on the breeze from some 
invisible orchestra, and to the rhythm of the distant melody 
there were seen advancing down the wide avenue figures so 



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196 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

strange and fantastic that^ as soon as it was discovered what 
they were intended to represent, peals of laughter rang out on 
every side. It was a game of living ninepins that marched 
slowly down the avenue, the bowl leading the way. As soon 
as they arrived within a few yards of the flight of steps, the 
ninepins gracefully took up their positions in the order of 
play, while the bowl rolled on almost to the duchess' feet. 
They all bowed and then began to sing a plaintive ditty, the 
burden of which was that the new f angled games of the ring 
and the ball and tennis had usurped their place and driven 
them out of the gardens of Sceaux. They went on to beg 
that the beautiful fairy Ludovise would once more permit 
them to return and lend themselves to the diversion of her 
illustrious guests. This plaintive song was arranged as a 
cantata for nine voices, with an accompaniment of flutes and 
viols ; and at intervals a bass solo was sung by the bowl, pro- 
ducing a most original effect. All the guests seconded the 
petition thus quaintly presented, and Madame du Maine 
graciously granted their request. Thereupon, as it were to 
express their joy, the ninepins danced a ballet, and so gro- 
tesque and fantastic were their movements that the dance was 
even more successful than the music had been. Madame du 
Maine was enchanted and expressed her regret that she had 
not made their acquaintance sooner. In virtue of her power 
as queen of the honey bees she commanded that it should be 
henceforth called the royal game of ninepins, and thus be 
placed on the same footing as its rival, the royal game of 
goose. 

After receiving this sign of the royal favor, the ninepins 
withdrew, and made way for the newcomers, who were seen 
advancing down the broad avenue. They were seven figiires 
entirely enveloped in furs with head coverings of the same 
material, which almost concealed their faces. They approached 
with an air of great solemnity, bringing with them a sledge 
drawn by reindeer. It was evident that this was a deputation 
from the polar regions. They were Greenlanders, headed by 
a chief, who wore a long robe lined with sable and a hat of 
fox-skin, from which hung three fox tails, two on either side 
and one behind. 

On arriving in the presence of the fairy Ludovise, the 
leader bowed, and submitted the following address : 

'* Madame, by decree of the General National Assembly the 



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QUEEN OF THE GREENLANDERS. 197 

G-reenlanders have resolved to send an embassy to your most 
Serene Highness^ and I have had the honor of being chosen as 
their spokesman. I am instructed to offer your Highness, on 
their behalf, the sovereignty of their states." 

The allusion was so obvious, yet so delicately veiled, that a 
murmur of approval rose from the whole assembly, and the 
beautiful fairy Ludovise smiled graciously. Thus encouraged 
the ambassador proceeded : 

" Even in the far-away regions of our snow-bound home the 
fame of your Serene Highness' many charms and virtues has 
reached our ears. At the same time news has reached us that 
your Highness has no love for the sun.'' 

This second allusion was received with renewed applause ; 
for the sun was the Regent's emblem ; besides, as we already 
know, the princess had a great predilection in favor of night. 

"Therefore, madame," continued the ambassador, "since 
God in his goodness has granted us six months of night and 
six months of twilight, we come to lay before your Highness a 
proposition which will enable you to escape from the sun you 
so much dislike ; and as some slight compensation for the titles 
and honors you must relinquish we are prepared to receive 
you as queen of the Greenlanders. We are satisfied that, 
under your royal auspices, our barren country will become 
fruitful ; that the wisdom of your laws will effectually control 
the stubborn and lawless amongst us ; and that your just and 
beneficent sway will be more advantageous than is our present 
uncontrolled liberty." 

" But," said Madame du Maine, " I fear that the kingdom 
you offer me is very far away, and I must confess that I 
greatly dislike long journeys." 

"We have foreseen this diflB.culty, madame," replied the 
ambassador, " and fearing that, unlike Mahomet, you would 
refuse to go to the mountain, we have summoned to our aid a 
great sorcerer, who, by the power of his magic art, will bring 
the mountain to you. Ho there ! ye spirits of the Arctic 
circle I " cried the ambassador, making cabalistic signs in the 
air with his wand, "reveal to us the palace of our new 
sovereign ! " 

As he spoke, strains of weird music were heard, and the veil, 
which concealed Aurora's pavilion, was drawn aside as if by 
magic; the vast expanse of water lay gleaming before them, 
lighted up as it were by the rays of the moon. By the aid of 



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198 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

this light there came into view an island of ice, out of which 
rose a snowy mountain peak, at whose base stood the palace of 
the queen of the Greenlanders. This palace was approached 
by a bridge of such fairy-like and delicate construction that it 
seemed as ethereal as a cloud. Then, amid general acclama- 
tions, the ambassador took a crown from the hands of one of 
his suite and placed it upon the head of the duchess, who 
received and wore it with as royal an air as if it had been a 
real crown. The newly crowned queen then took her seat in 
the sledge and was swiftly drawn to the palace on the island 
of ice. The crowd were prevented by the guards from follow- 
ing her to her new domain, and she crossed the bridge and 
entered the palace, accompanied only by the seven envoys 
from Greenland. Then the bridge suddenly disappeared, as if 
by the same supernatural agency which had brought it into 
being. The arrival of their queen was hailed by a display of fire- 
works, which lighted up the sky above the pavilion of Aurora. 

Meanwhile an usher conducted the duchess to a private 
apartment in the new palace ; and the seven envoys who had 
thrown aside their fantastic robes presented themselves before 
her. She now recognized them to be the Prince de Cellamare, 
the Cardinal de Polignac, the Marquis de Pompadour, the 
Comte de Laval, Baron de Yalef, Chevalier d'Harmental, and 
Malezieux. As for the usher in attendance, who carefully 
closed the doors and joined the distinguished assembly, he 
was no other than our old friend, the Abb^ Brigand. 

The true significance of this burlesque was now apparent, 
and as soon as the conspirators had thrown off their disguises 
they turned their attention to the serious business which had 
brought them together. 

" Gentlemen," said Madame du Maine, with her habitual 
vivacity, " we have not a moment to lose ; for any prolonged 
absence on our part would give rise to suspicion. Let each 
state what he has been able to do, and then we shall be able 
to understand our position." 

" Pardon me, madame," said the prince, ** there is one man 
of whom you spoke as favoring our cause ; but I regret to see 
he is not present." 

"I suppose you mean the Due de Richelieu," replied 
Madame du Maine. " As a matter of fact he said he would 
come, so something must have detained him. However, we 
must proceed without him." 



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QUEEN OF THE GREENLANDERS. 199 

" Of course, if he is unable to come we must proceed with- 
out him/' said the prince, " and I can only express my deep 
regret at his absence. The regiment he commands is at 
Bayonne, and might be of great use to us in an emergency. 
At any rate, madame, may I ask you to give orders that, if he 
should come, he may be admitted at once.'' 

"Abb^," said the duchess, turning to Brigand, "you hear 
what his Highness says. Go and tell lyAvranches." 

Brigand left the room to execute the order he had received. 

« If I remember right, chancellor," said D'Harmental to 
Malezieux, ^^ it is only six weeks ago that the Due de Eichelieu 
positively refused to join us." 

" Yes," replied Malezieux ; " at that time he had been chosen 
to present the blue riband of the Order of the Holy Ghost to 
the prince of the Asturias ; for which service he hoped to be 
made a Knight of the Golden ¥leece. So it was not an oppor- 
tune moment to break with the Regent. However, since then, 
seeing that we are at variance with the court of Spain, the 
Regent has changed his mind and has indefinitely postponed 
the presentation of the order. The duke now sees but little 
chance of being made a Knight of the Golden Fleece, and 
therefore hesitates no longer to join us." 

" Your Highness' commands have been duly executed," said 
the Abb^ Brigand, returning ; " should the diie arrive he will 
be admitted at once." 

"Very good," said the princess, "now let us sit down at 
this table and proceed to business. Laval, what have you to 
tell us ? " 

" Madame," said Laval, " I have been in Switzerland, as you 
know. In the name of the King of Spain, and with the assist- 
ance of his treasury, I have raised a regiment in the Grisons. 
This regiment is fully armed and equipped, and ready to 
march into France whenever it may receive orders." 

"That is good news, my dear comte," said the duchess, 
" and if you do not consider it beneath the dignity of a Mont- 
morency to accept the colonelcy of a regiment whilst waiting for 
something better, I beg you will take command of this one. 
It is more likely to win for you the Order of the Golden 
Fleece than if you were deputed to carry the blue riband of 
the Order of the Holy Ghost to Spain." 

" Madame," replied Laval, " it is for your Highness to make 
such appointments as you please. Whatever they may be 



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200 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

they wUl be gratefully accepted by the most humble of your 
servants." 

The duchess acknowledged Laval's courteous speech by a 
wave of the hand. 

" And you, Pompadour/' she said, " what have you done ? " 

'* According to your Serene Highness' instructions," replied 
the marquis, " I went to Normandy and obtained thirty-six 
signatures to the petition of the nobility. They are all well- 
known names." 

Here the marquis drew a paper from his pocket. 

" This is the protest to be laid before the King, with all the 
signatures attached as you will see, madame." 

In her eagerness to take the document out of the Marquis de 
Pompadour's hands the duchess almost tore it. Then glancing 
rapidly over it : 

" Yes, yes," she said, " you have done well to obtain the 
signatures without invidious distinctions as to their order. No 
one can find fault with the sequence in which the names aro 
written, on the ground of precedence. Here we have G-uil- 
laume-Alexandre de Vieux-Pont, Pierre-Anne-Marie de la Pail- 
leterie, de Beaufremont, de Latour-Dupin, de Ch§,tillon. You 
are right; these names are borne by some of the most dis- 
tinguished and loyal families in France. We tender you our 
thanks. Pompadour. You have proved yourself a worthy 
envoy ; and your valuable services shall be rewarded on the 
first opportunity. And you, chevalier," continued the duchess, 
turning to D'Harmental with her irresistible smile. 

"Madame," said the chevalier, "in accordance with your 
Royal Highness' commands I went to Brittany, and on my 
arrival at Nantes I opened my despatches and read my 
instructions." 

" Well ? " said the duchess, eagerly. 

" Well, madame," continued D'Harmental, " I think I may 
say that I have been as successful as the Marquis de Pom- 
padour and the Comte de Laval. I bring you a promise from 
Messieurs de Mont-Louis, de Bonamour, de Pont-Callet, and 
de Rohan-Soldue. The Spanish squadron has only to appear 
off the coast of Brittany and the whole countryside will rise 
in arms." 

" You see, prince," cried the duchess in joyful accents, turn- 
ing to Cellamare, " everything is in our favor." 

"Yes," replied the prince, "but influential as these four 



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QUEEN OF THE GREENLANDERS. 201 

gentlemen undoubtedly are, there are others whom we must 
gain over to our cause. For instance, there are the Laguerche- 
Saint Amants, the Bois-Davys, the Larochefoucault-Gondrals, 
besides the Decourts and the D'Er^es, whose support it is most 
important to obtain." 

" That is already accomplished, prince,'' said D'Harmental ; 
" look, here are their letters." 

And drawing a number of letters from his pocket he opened 
two or three at random and read as follows : 

" I am truly flattered by the honor your Serene Highness 
does me in sending me this message ; and at a meeting of the 
general assembly I shall not hesitate to support the nobility, 
who have declared their devotion to your cause. 

"Maequis Decoubt." 

" Your Highness may rest assured that whatever power and 
influence I possess in this province shall be employed to 
establish the justice of your Serene Highness' cause. 

" Larochefoucault-Gondral." 

" If success could be assured by the votes of seven or eight 
hundred gentlemen, I could safely say that your Serene High- 
ness would have no difficulty in winning your cause. I have 
the honor once more to offer you all possible assistance from 
this quarter. 

"CoMTE d'Er^e." 

" Well, prince," cried Madame du Maine, " are you satisfied 
now ? And see, besides these letters, here is one from Lavati- 
guyon, another from Bois-Davy, and another from Fum^e. 
Chevalier, here is our right hand ; it is the one that holds the 
pen. Let it be a pledge to you that from the day our signa- 
ture becomes a royal signature we will refuse you nothing." 

"I thank you, madame," said D'Harmental, respectfully 
pressing his lips to her hand, ^'but this hand has already 
bestowed upon me more then I deserve. To see your High- 
ness in the position that belongs to you by right is the only 
reward I crave. When that day comes I shall have nothing 
left to desire." 

" And now, Valef, it is your turn," said the duchess, " we 
have kept you till the last as your mission was the most 



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202 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

important. Judging from the sign we exchanged at dinner I 
understand that you are not disappointed in your mission to 
their Catholic majesties. Am I right ? ^' 

" What would your Serene Higlmess say to a letter written 
by King Philip himself ? " 

" A letter written by King Philip himself ? " cried the 
duchess. << I shall say that it is more than I ever dared to 
hope for." 

" Prince," said Valef , handing a paper to Cellamare, " you 
are acquainted with his Majesty's handwriting; so I will 
leave it to you to assure her Eoyal Highness that what she 
dares not believe is true, and that this letter is in the King's 
own handwriting." 

" Yes," said Cellamare, bowing his head in assent, " there 
is no doubt about it. It is the King's own handwriting." 

" And to whom is it addressed ? " asked the duchess, taking 
the letter from the prince. 

" To King Louis XV., madame," said Valef. 

" Very good," said the duchess. " Villeroy shall present it 
to his Majesty. Now, let us see what it says." 

And the duchess read the following lines with as much 
rapidity as the difficulty she experienced in deciphering the 
handwriting would permit : ^ 

<' The Escnrial, 16th March, 1718. 

"Since Providence placed me on the throne of Spain I 
have never for a single moment lost sight of the obligations I 
owe to the land of my birth. Louis XIV., of glorious memory, 
is ever present in my thoughts. The parting words he 
uttered, when we embraced and bade each other farewell, are 
forever ringing in my ears : * The Pyrenees no longer exist 
for us ! ' Your Majesty is the sole remaining offspring of my 
eldest brother, whose loss I have never ceased to mourn. God 
has ordained that you should reign over that great monarchy, 
the welfare and glory of which must always be most precious 
to me. I have the deepest affection for you, and shall never 
forget what I owe to your Majesty, to my country, and to the 
memory of my illustrious grandfather. 

"My beloved Spaniards, who are devoted to me, and who 
never doubt the sincerity of my affection for them, in no way 
resent the sentiments I have just expressed. For they are 

> This letter is still to be seen in the Archives of the French Foreign Office, and ii 
actually la the handwriting of FhiUp V. 



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QUEEN OF THE GREENLANDERS. 203 

well assured that our union is essential to peace and pros- 
perity. I flatter myself that my personal interests are still 
dear to the nation which nurtured me ; and that the faithful 
nobility, who have shed so much blood, in order to safeguard 
those interests, will always regard with affection a King who 
appreciates their devotion and is proud to remember that he 
was bom in their midst." 

" That refers to you, gentlemen,'' said the duchess, indicat- 
ing with a smile and wave of her hand the company who sur- 
rounded her. Then she eagerly continued reading ; 

" In what light, then, can your faithful subjects regard this 
treaty,^ which threatens me — or rather which threatens your- 
self ? Although your treasury has become exhausted, and no 
funds are available to defray current expenses, even in the 
time of peace, it is suggested that your Majesty should com- 
bine with my most mortal enemy * to make war upon me, if I 
do not consent to surrender Sicily to the Archduke. 

« These conditions are intolerable, and I will never consent 
to them. 

" I shall not here attempt to demonstrate how disastrous 
would be the results of such an alliance. I can only beg that 
your Majesty will convoke the States-General to meet in coun- 
cil before taking any irrevocable steps in a matter of such 
grave importance." 

" The States-General ! " muttered the cardinal. 

"Well, to what does your Eminence object? Does this 
suggestion fail to meet with your approval ? " asked the 
duchess, with some impatience. 

" I neither approve nor disapprove,'' replied the cardinal, 
"but I cannot forget that, when the States-General were con- 
voked during the League^ their decision in no way improved 
the position for Philip II." 

« Men and times have changed since then, cardinal. That 
was in the year 1594 and this is 1718. Besides, Philip II. 
was Flemish, while Philip V. is a Frenchman. The conditions 
are, in all respects, so different that the same results cannot 
be predicted." 

Here the duchess resumed the reading of the letter : 

1 The treaty of tbe Qaadniple Alliance, which, as we have seen, Dubois successfully 
ne^^tiated la London. * Bmperor of Austria. 



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204 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

" I make this request in the name of the ties which unite 
us ; in the name of the great King from whom we trace our 
descent; in the name of your people and mine. If at any- 
time it was of vital importance to listen to the voice of the 
French people, it is so now. Let the nation state its wishes. 
Let it say whether it means to declare war upon Spain or not. 
As I have always been devoted to the interests of France I 
sincerely hope that you will comply with my request. For I 
trust that such a convocation, as I have proposed, may avert 
the dangers which threaten the peace of Europe. It is my 
earnest desire that the armies of Spain may never be employed, 
excepting to maintain the honor and glory of France to the 
confusion of her enemies. For my part, I will never employ 
them except to prove the esteem and sincere regard I feel for 
your Majesty." 

"Well, what do you think of that, gentlemen ? " said the 
duchess; "his Catholic majesty could scarcely do more for 
us." 

" He might have enclosed a letter addressed directly to the 
States-General," said the cardinal, "and had the King 
deigned to send such a letter it might have materially influ- 
enced the result of their deliberations." 

" Well, I have such a letter," said the Prince de Cellamare, 
taking a document out of his pocket. 

" What do you say ? " cried the cardinal. 

" I say that his Catholic majesty has anticipated your 
wishes and has sent me this letter, which is the complement 
of the letter brought by the Baron de Yalef." 

" Then nothing is wanting," cried Madame du Maine. 

" Except Bayonne," said the Prince de Cellamare ; " Bay- 
onne, the door of France." 

At this moment D'Avranches entered, announcing the Due 
de Eichelieu. 

"And now, prince, there is nothing wanting," said the 
Marquis de Pompadour, laughing ; <^ for here is he who holds 
the key to the door." 



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THE DUC DE RICHELIEU. 205 

CHAPTEE XXy. 

THE DUC DE BIGHELIEU. 

" At last ! " cried the duchess, seeing Eichelieu enter. " Are 
you, then, always the same ? Your friends can not count on 
you any more than your mistresses." 

"On the contrary, madame," said Eichelieu, approaching 
the duchess, *^for to-day, more than ever, T prove to your 
Highness that I can reconcile everything." 

"Then you have made a sacrifice for us, duke," said 
Madame du Maine, laughing. 

" Ten thousand times greater than you can imagine. Who 
do you think I have left ? " 

" Madame de Villars ? " asked the duchess. 

'• Oh no ! better than that." 

" Madame de Duras ? " 

"No." 

" Madame deN^sle?" 

" Bah ! " 

« Madame de Polignac ? Ah I pardon, cardinal." 

" Go on. It does not concern his Eminence." 

"Madame de Soubise, Madame de Gabriant, Madame de 
Gac^?" 

" No, no, no." 

" Mademoiselle de Charolais ? " 

" I have not seen her since my last trip to the Bastile." 

^^ Mademoiselle de Yalois ? " 

" Oh ! I intend her for my wife when we have succeeded 
and I am a Spanish prince. No, madame; I have left, for 
your Highness, the two most charming grisettes." 

" Grisettes ! Ah ! fie ! " cried the duchess, with a move- 
ment of contempt, " I did not think that you descended to 
such creatures." 

" Creatures ! two charming women ! Madame Michelin 
and Madame E^naud. Do you not know them ? Madame 
Michelin, a beautiful blonde ; her husband is a carpet manu- 
facturer ; I recommend him to you, duchess. Madame E^naud, 
an adorable brunette, with blue eyes and black lashes, and whose 
husband is — Ma foi ! I do not remember exactly " — 

" What M- Michelin is, probably," said Pompadour, laughing. 



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206 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

" Pardon, duke," replied Madame du Maine, who had lost 
all curiosity for Richelieu's love adventures as soon as they 
traveled from a certain set, " may I venture to remind you 
that we met here on important business ! " 

" Oh, yes ! we are conspiring, are we not ? '' 

« Had you forgotten it ? " 

" How could I ! a conspiracy is not one of the gayest things 
in the world, therefore I forget it whenever I can ; but that is 
nothing — whenever it is necessary I can come back to it. 
Now, let us see : how does the conspiracy go on ? '' 

<' Here, duke, look at these letters, and you will know as 
much as we do." 

" Oh ! your Highness must excuse me," said Eichelieu ; 
" but really I do not read those which are addressed to me, 
and I have seven or eight hundred, in the most charming 
writings, which I am keeping to amuse my old days. Here, 
Malezieux, you, who are clearness itself, give me a report." 

"Well, these letters are the engagements of the Breton 
nobles to sustain the rights of her Highness." 

" Very good." 

" This paper is the protestation of the nobility." 

" Oh ! give it me. I protest." 

" But you do not know against what." 

" Never mind, I protest aJl the same." 

And, taking the paper, he wrote his name after that of 
Guillaume Antoine de Chastellux, which was the last signature. 

"Let him alone," said Cellamare to the duchess, "Riche- 
lieu's name is useful everywhere." 

" And this letter ? " asked the duke, pointing to the missive 
of Philip y. 

"That letter," continued Malezieux, "is written by King 
Philip himself." 

"Then his Catholic majesty writes worse than I do," 
answered Richelieu. " That pleases me. Raff^ always says it 
is impossible." 

"If the letter is badly written, the news it contains is none 
the less good," said Madame du Maine, " for it is a letter 
begging the King of France to assemble the States-General to 
oppose the treaty of the quadruple alliance." 

" And is your Highness sure of the States-General ? " 

" Here is the protestation which engages the nobility. The car- 
dinal answers for the clergy, and there only remains the army." 



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THE DUC DE RICHELIEU. 207 

« The army," said Laval, " is my affair. I have the signs- 
manual of twenty-two colonels." 

" First,'* said Richelieu, " I answer for my regiment, which 
is at Bayonne, and which, consequently, is able to be of great 
service to us." 

" Yes," said Cellamare, " and we reckon on it, but I heard 
that there was a question of changing the garrison." 

" Seriously." 

" Very seriously. You understand, duke ? We must be 
beforehand." 

" Instantly — paper — ink ; I will write to the Due de Ber- 
wick. At the moment of commencing a campaign no one 
will be astonished at my begging not to be removed from the 
theatre of war." 

The duchess hastened to give Eichelieu what he asked, 
and taking a pen presented it to him herself. The duke 
bowed, took the pen, and wrote a letter to the Due de 
Berwick, begging that his regiment should not be removed 
till May. • 

"Now read, madame," continued the duke, passing the 
paper to Madame du Maine. The duchess took the letter, 
read it, and passed it to her neighbor, who passed it on so 
that it made the round of the table. Malezieux, who had it 
the last, could not repress a slight smile. 

" Ah ! poet," said Richelieu, " you are laughing ; I suppose 
I have had the misfortune to offend that ridiculous prude 
called orthography. You know I am a gentleman, and they 
forgot to teach me French; thinking, I suppose, that for 
fifteen hundred francs a year I can always have a valet-de- 
chambre who could write my letters and make my verses. 
This will not prevent me, my dear Malezieux, from being in 
the Academy, not only before you but before Voltaire." 

"In which case, will your valet-de-chamhre write your 
discourse ? " 

" He is working at it, and you will see that it will not be 
worse than those that some academicians of my acquaintance 
have done themselves." 

" Duke," said Madame du Maine, " it will doubtless be a 
curious thing to see your reception into the illustrious body 
of which you speak, and I promise you to employ myself 
to-morrow in procuring a seat for that day ; but this evening 
we are occupied with other things." 



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208 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

"Well," said Eichelieu, "speak; I listen. What have you 
resolved ? '' 

" To obtain from the King, by means of these two letters, 
the convocation of the States-Greneral ; then, sure as we are of 
the three orders, we depose the Regent and name Philip Y. 
in his place." 

" And as Philip V. cannot leave Madrid he gives us full 
powers and we govern France in his stead. Well, it is not 
badly arranged, all that, but to convoke the States-Greneral 
you must have an order from the King." 

« The King will sign it." 

" Without the Regent's knowledge ? " 

" Without the Regent's knowledge." 

"Then you have promised the Bishop of Fr^jus to make 
him a cardinal ? " 

"No; but I will promise Yilleroy a title and the Golden 
Fleece." 

" I am afraid, madame," said the Prince of Cellamare, " that 
all this will not determine the marshal to undertake so grave 
a responsibility." 

" It is not the marshal we want ; it is his wife." 

" Ah ! you remind me," said Richelieu, " I undertake it." 

" You I " said the duchess, with astonishment. 

" Yes, madame," replied Richelieu, " you have your cor- 
respondence, I have mine. I have seen seven or eight letters 
that you have received to-day. Will your Highness have the 
goodness to look at one I received yesterday ? " 

" Is this letter for me only, or may it be read aloud ? " 

" We are among discreet people, are we not ? " said Riche- 
lieu, looking round him. 

" I think so," replied the duchess, " besides, the gravity of 
the situation." 

The duchess took the letter and read : 

" Monsieur le Duo : 

" I am a woman of my word. My husband is on the eve 
of setting out for the little journey you know of. To-morrow, 
at eleven o'clock, I shall be at home for you only. Do not 
think that I decide on this step without having put all the 
blame on the shoulders of Monsieur de Yilleroy. I begin to 
fear for him, as you may have undertakeu to punish him. 
Come, theu; at the appointed hour^ to prove to me that I am 



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THE DUC DE RICHELIEU. 209 

not too much to blame in conspiring with you against my lord 
and master." 

" Ah I pardon, that is not the one I intended to show you, 
that is the one of the day before yesterday. Here is yester- 
day's." 

The duchess took the second letter, and read as follows : 

<^My dear Abmakd, 

" Is this it, or are you mistaken again ? " said the duchess 
to Bichelieu. 

" No, no ; this time it is right." 

The duchess went on : 

^^My dsab Abmand: 

" You are a dangerous advocate when you plead against 
Monsieur de Villeroy. I need to exaggerate your talents to 
diminish my weakness. You had, in my heart, a judge, inter- 
ested in your gaining your cause. Come to-morrow to plead 
again and I will give you an audience." 

" And have you been there ? " 

" Certainly, madame." 

" And the duchess ? " 

^' Will do, I hope, all we desire ; and as she makes her 
husband do whatever she likes we shall have our order for 
the convocation of the States-General on his return." 

" And when will he return ? " 

" In a week." 

" And can you be faithful all that time ? " 

'^ Madame, when I have undertaken a cause I am capable 
of the greatest sacrifices to forward it." 

" Then we may count on your word ? " 

" I pledge myself." 

"You hear, gentlemen?" said the Duchesse du Maine. 
"Let us continue to work. You, Laval, act on the army. 
You, Pompadour on the nobility. You, cardinal, on the 
clergy, and let us leave the Due de Bichelieu to act on Ma- 
dame de Villeroy." 

"And for what day is our next meeting fixed?" asked 
Cellamare. 



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210 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

"All depends on circumstances, prince," replied the 
duchess. " At any rate, if I have not time to give you 
notice I will send the same carriage and coachman to fetch 
you who took you to the arsenal the fiifet time you came 
there." Then, turning towards Richelieu, " You give us the 
rest of the evening, duke ? " 

"I ask your pardon," replied Richelieu, "but it is abso- 
lutely impossible; I am expected in the Rue des Bons- 
Enfans." 

" What ! have you made it up with Madame de Sabran ? ^' 

" We never quarreled, madame." 

" Take care, duke ; that looks like constancy." 

" No, madame, it is calculation." 

"Ah! I see that you are on the road towards becoming 
devoted." 

" I never do things by halves, madame." 

'^Well, we will follow your example, Monsieur le Due. 
And now we have been an hour and a half away, and should, 
I think, return to the gardens that our absence may not be 
too much noticed ; besides, I think the goddess of night is 
on the shore, waiting to thank us for the preference we have 
given her over the sun." 

"With your permission, however, madame," said Laval, 
"I must keep you an instant longer, to tell you the trouble I 
am in." 

" Speak, count," replied the duchess ; " what is the matter ? " 

" It is about our requests, our protestations. It was agreed, 
if you remember, that they should be printed by workmen 
who can not read." 

" Well." 

" I bought a press and established it in the cellar of a 
house behind the Yal-de-Grace. I enlisted the necessary 
workmen and, up to the present time, have had the most satis- 
factory results ; but the noise of our machine has given rise 
to the suspicion that we are coining false money, and yester- 
day the police made a descent on the house ; fortunately, 
there was time to stop the work and roll a bed over the trap, 
so that they discovered nothing. But as the visit might be 
renewed, and with a less fortunate result, as soon as they 
were gone I dismissed the workmen, buried the press, and had 
all the proofs taken to my own house." 

" And you did well, count," cried the Cardinal de Polignac, 



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THE DUC DE RICHELIEU. 211 

" But what are we to do now?" asked Madame du Maine. 

« Have the press taken to my house," said Pompadour. 

" Or mine," said Valef . 

" !N"o, no," said Malezieux ; " a press is too dangerous a 
means. One of the police may easily slip in among the work- 
men, and all will be lost. Besides, there can not be much left 
to print." 

" The greater part is done," said Laval. 

" Well," continued Malezieux, " my advice is, as before, to 
employ some intelligent copyist, whose silence we can buy." 

" Yes, this will be much safer," said Polignac. 

" But where can we find such a man ? " said the prince. 
" It is not a thing for which we can take the first comer." 

" If I dared," said the Abbe Brigand. 

" Dare, abb^ ! dare ! " said the duchess. 

" I should say that I know the man you want." 

" Did I not tell you," said Pompadour, " that the abb^ was a 
precious man ? " 

" But is he really what we want ? " said Polignac. 

" Oh, if your Eminence had him made on purpose he could 
not do better," said Brigand. " A true machine, who will 
write everything and see nothing." 

" But as a still greater precaution," said the prince, " we 
might put the most important papers into Spanish." 

" Then, prince," said Brigand, «^ I will send him to you." 

" No, no," said Cellamare ; " he must not set his foot within 
the Spanish embassy. It must be done through some third 
party." 

" Yes, yes, we will arrange all that," said the duchess. 
" The man is found — that is the principal thing. You 
answer for him. Brigand?" 

" I do, madame." 

" That is all we require. And now there is nothing to 
keep us any longer," continued the duchess. "Monsieur 
d'Harmental, give me your arm, I beg." 

The chevalier hastened to obey Madame du Maine, who 
seized this opportunity to express her gratitude for the 
courage he had shown in the Rue des Bons-Enfans, and his 
skill in Brittany. At the door of the pavilion, the Greenland 
envoys — now dressed simply as guests — found a little galley 
waiting to take them to the shore. Madame du Maine entered 
first, seated D'Harmental by her, leaving Malezieux to do the 



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212 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

honors to Gellamare and Bichelieu. As the duchess had said, 
the goddess of night, dressed in black gauze spangled with 
golden stars, was waiting on the other side of the lake, accom- 
panied by the twelve hours ; and, as the duchess approached, 
they began to sing a cantata appropriate to the subject. At 
the first notes of the solo D'Harmental started, for the voice 
of the singer had so strong a resemblance to another voice, 
well-known to him and dear to his recollection, that he rose 
involuntarily to look for the person whose accents had so 
singularly moved him. Unfortunately, in spite of the torches 
which the hours, her subjects, held, he could not distinguish 
the goddess' features, which were covered with a long veil, 
similar to her dress. He could only hear that pure, flexible, 
sonorous voice, and that easy and skilful execution, which he 
had so much admired when he heard it for the first time in 
the Eue du Temps-Perdu; and each accent of that voice, 
becoming more distinct as he approached the shore, made 
him tremble from head to foot. At length the solo ceased, 
and the chorus recommenced; but D'Harmental, insensi- 
ble to all other thoughts, continued to follow the vanished 
notes. 

" Well, Monsieur d'Harmental," said the duchess, " are you 
so accessible to the charms of music that you forget that you 
are my cavalier ? " 

"Oh, pardon, madame,'' said D'Harmental, leaping to the 
shore, and holding out his hand to the duchess, " but I thought 
I recognized that voice and I confess it brought back such 
memories ! " 

" That proves that you are an habitu^ of the opera, my 
dear chevalier, and that you appreciate, as it deserves. Made- 
moiselle Berry's talent.'' 

" What, is that voice Mademoiselle Berry's ? " asked D'Har- 
mental, with astonishment. 

" It is, monsieur ; and if you do not believe me," replied the 
duchess, " permit me to take Laval's arm, that you may go and 
assure yourself of it." 

" Oh, madame," said D'Harmental, respectfully retaining 
the hand she was about to withdraw, " pray excuse me. We 
are in the gardens of Armida, and a moment of error may be 
permitted among so many enchantments ; " and, presenting 
his arm again to the duchess, he conducted her towards the 
chateau. At this instant a feeble cry wat heard and, feeble 



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JEALOUSY. 213 

as it was, it reached D'Harmental's heart, and he turned 
involuntarily. 

"What is it?'' asked the duchess, with an uneasiness 
mixed with impatience. 

" Nothing, nothing," said Eichelieu ; " it is little Berry, who 
has the vapors. Make yourself easy, madame. I know the 
disease; it is not dangerous. If you particularly wish it I 
would even go to-morrow to learn how she is." 

Two hours after this little accident — which was not suffi- 
cient to disturb the fSte in any way — D'Harmental was 
brought back to Paris by the AbbJ Brigand, and re-entered his 
little attic in the Rue du Temps-Perdu, from which he had 
been absent six weeks. 



CHAPTER XXVI. 

JEALOUSY. 

On returning, the first sensation D'Harmental experienced 
was one of inexpressible satisfaction at finding himself again 
in that little room so filled with recollections. Though he 
had been absent six weeks one might have supposed that he 
had only quitted it the day before, as, thanks to the almost 
maternal care of Madame Denis, everything was in its accus- 
tomed place. D'Harmental remained an instant, his candle in 
his hand, looking around him with a look almost of ecstasy. 
All the other impressions of his life were effaced by those 
which he had experienced in this little corner of the world. 
Then he ran to the window, opened it, and threw an indescrib- 
able look of love over the darkened windows of his neighbor. 
Doubtless Bathilde slept the sleep of an angel, unconscious 
that D'Harmental was there, trembling with love and hope. 

He remained thus for more than half an hour, breathing 
the night air, which had never seemed to him so pure and 
fresh, and began to feel that Bathilde had become one of the 
necessities of his life; but as he could not pass the whole 
night at his window he then closed it and came into his 
room, although only to follow up the recollections with which 
it was filled. He opened his piano, and passed his fingers 
over the keys at the risk of re-exciting the anger of the 



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214 TME CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

lodger on the third floor. From the piano he passed to the 
unfinished portrait of Bathilde. At length he slept, listening 
again, in his mind, to the air sung by Mademoiselle Berry, 
whom he finished by believing to be one and the same person 
83 Bathilde. When he awoke, D'Harmental jumped from his 
bed and can to the window. The day appeared already 
advanced; the sun was shining brilliantly; yet Bathilde's 
window remained hermetically closed. 

The chevalier looked at his watch ; it was ten o'clock, and 
he began to dress. We have already confessed that he was 
not free from a certain almost feminine coquetry ; but this 
was the fault of the time, when everything was mannered — 
even passion. At the time it was not a melancholy expression 
on which he reckoned. The joy of return had given to his 
face a charming expression of happiness, and it was evident 
that a glance from Bathilde would crown him king of the 
creation. This glance he came to the window to seek, but 
Bathilde's remained closed. D'Harmental opened his, hoping 
that the noise would attract her attention; nothing stirred. 
He remained there an hour ; during this hour there was not 
even a breath of wind to stir the curtains : the young girl's 
room must be abandoned. He coughed, opened and closed 
the window, detached little pieces of plaster from the wall 
and threw them against the window — all in vain. 

To surprise succeeded uneasiness; this window, so obsti- 
nately closed, must indicate absence, if not misfortune. 
Bathilde absent ! — where could she be ? What had happened 
to disturb her calm, regular life ? Who could he ask ? No 
one but Madame Denis could know. It was quite natural 
that D'Harmental should pay a visit to his landlady on his 
return, and he accordingly went down. Madame Denis had 
not seen him since the day of the breakfast. She had not 
forgotten his attention when she fainted. She received him 
like the prodigal son. Fortunately for D'Harmental, the 
young ladies were occupied with a drawing lesson, and Boni- 
face was at his office, so that he saw no one but his hostess. 
The conversation fell naturally on the .order and neatness of 
his room during his absence ; from this the transition was 
easy to the question if the opposite lodging had changed 
tenants. Madame Denis replied that she had seen Bathilde at 
the window the morning before ; and that in the evening her 
son had met Buvat returning from his office, but had noticed 



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JEALOUSY. 215 

in him a singular air of pride and hauteur. This was all 
D'Harmental wished to know. Bathilde was in Paris, and at 
home ; chance had not yet directed her looks towards that 
window so long closed, and that room so long empty. He 
took leave of Madame Denis with an effusion of gratitude 
which she was far from attributing to its true cause ; and on 
the landing he met the Abb^ Brigand, who was coming to pay 
his daily visit to Madame Denis. 

The abb^ asked if he was going home, and promised to pay 
him a visit. On entering his room D'Harmental went straight 
to the window. Nothing was changed ; it was evidently a 
plan, and he resolved to employ the last means which he had 
reserved. He sat down to the piano, and after a brilliant 
prelude sang the air of the cantata of Night which he had 
heard the evening before, and of which he had retained 
every note in his memory. Meanwhile he did not lose sight 
for an instant of the inexorable window ; but there was no 
sign. The opposite room had no echo. 

But D'Harmental had produced an effect which he did not 
expect Hearing applause, he turned round, and saw the 
Abb^ Brigand behind him. 

"Ah! it is you, abb^,'' said D'Harmental. "I did not 
know that you were so great a lover of music." 

" Nor you so good a musician. Peste ! my dear pupil, an 
air you only heard once. It is wonderful.^' 

" I thought it very beautiful, abb^, and as I have a very 
good memory for sounds, I retained it.'' 

« And then it was so admirably sung. Was it not ? " 

" Yes," said D'Harmental ; " Mademoiselle Berry has an 
exquisite voice, and the first time she sings I shall go incog- 
nito to the opera." 

"Is it that voice you want to hear ? " asked Brigand. 

" Yes." 

"Then you must not go to the opera for that." 

" And where must I go ? " 

" Nowhere. Stay here. You are in the boxes." 

« What ! The goddess of night ? " 

" Is your neighbor." 

"Bathilde?" cried D'Harmental. "Then I was not 
deceived ; I recognized her. But it is impossible I How could 
she have been there ? " 

"First of all," said the abb^, "nothing is impossible; 



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216 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

remember that, before you deny or undertake anything. 
Believe that everything is possible ; it is the way to succeed in 
everything." 

« But Bathilde ? " 

" Yes, does it not appear strange at first ? Well, nothing 
is more simple. But it does not interest you, chevalier ; let 
us talk of something else.'' 

" Yes, yes, abb^ ; you are strangely mistaken — I am deeply 
interested." 

" Well, my dear pupil, since you are so curious, this is the 
whole affair. The Abb^ Chaulieu knows Mademoiselle 
Bathilde ; is not that your neighbor's name ? " 

" Yes. How does the Abb^ Chaulieu know her ? " 

" Oh ! it is very simple. The guardian of this charming 
child is, as you know, or do not know, one of the best writers 
and copyists in the capital. The Abb^ Chaulieu wants some 
one to copy his poetry, since, being blind, he is obliged to dic- 
tate in the first instance to a little lackey who can not spell, 
and he has confided this important task to Buvat. By this 
means he has become acquainted with Mademoiselle Bathilde." 

" But all this does not explain how Mademoiselle Bathilde 
came to Sceaux." 

" Stop ; every history has its commencement, its middle, and 
its termination." 

" Abb^, you will make me swear." 

^* Patience, patience." 

" Gro on ; I listen to you." 

" Well, having made Mademoiselle Bathilde's acquaintance, 
the Abbe Chaulieu, like the rest, has felt the influence of her 
charms, for there is a species of magic attached to the young 
person in question ; no one can see her without loving her." 

" I know it," murmured D'Harmental. 

" Then, as Mademoiselle Bathilde is full of talent, and not 
only sings like a nightingale, but draws like an angel, Chau- 
lieu spoke of her so enthusiastically to Mademoiselle de 
Launay that she thought of employing her for the costumes 
of the different personages in the f Ste." 

<< This does not tell me that it was Bathilde and not Made- 
moiselle Berry who sang last night." 

" We are coming to it." 

<^Well?" 

« It happened that Mademoiselle de Launay, like the rest 



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JEALOUSY. 217 

of the world, took a violent fancy to the little witch. Instead 
of sending her away after the costumes were finished she 
kept her three days at Sceaux. She was still there the day 
before yesterday, closeted with Mademoiselle de Launay, when 
some one entered with a bewildered air to announce that the 
director of the opera wished to speak to her on a matter of 
importance. Mademoiselle de Launay went out, leaving 
Bathilde alone. Bathilde, to amuse herself, went to the piano, 
and finding both the instrument and her voice in good order, 
began to sing a great scene from some opera, and with such 
perfection that Mademoiselle de Launay, returning and hear- 
ing this unexpected song, opened the door softly, listened to 
the air, and threw her arms round the beautiful singer's neck, 
crying out that she could save her life. Bathilde, astonished, 
asked how and in what manner she could render her so great 
a service. Then Mademoiselle de Launay told her how she 
had engaged Mademoiselle Berry of the opera to sing the 
cantata of Night on the succeeding evening, and she had 
fallen ill and sent to say that to her great regret her Boyal 
Highness the Duchesse du Maine could not rely upon her, so that 
there would be no < Night,' and, consequently, no f§te, if 
Bathilde would not have the extreme goodness to undertake 
the aforesaid cantata. 

" Bathilde, as you may suppose, defended herself with all 
her might, and declared that it was impossible that she should 
thus sing music which she did not know. Mademoiselle de 
Launay put the cantata before her. Bathilde said that the 
music seemed terribly difficult. Mademoiselle de Launay 
answered that for a musician of her powers nothing was diffi- 
cult. Bathilde got up. Mademoiselle de Launay made her 
sit down again. Bathilde clasped her hands. Mademoiselle 
de Launay unclasped them and placed them on the piano. 
The piano being touched gave out a sound. Bathilde, in spite 
of herself, played the first bar ; then the second ; then the 
whole cantata. Then she attacked the song, and sang it to 
the end with an admirable justness of intonation and beauty 
of expression. Mademoiselle de Launay was enchanted. 
Madame du Maine arrived in despair at what she had heard 
of Mademoiselle Berry. Mademoiselle de Launay begged 
Bathilde to recommence the cantata. Bathilde did not dare 
to refuse ; she played and sang like an angel. Madame du 
Maine joined her prayers to those of Mademoiselle de Launay. 



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218 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

You know, chevalier, that it is impossible to refuse Madame 
du Maine anything. 

" Poor Bathilde was obliged to give way, and half laughing, 
half crying, she consented on two conditions. The first, 
that she might go herself to her friend Buvat to explain her 
absence ; the second, that she might remain at home all that 
evening and the next morning in order to study the unfortu- 
nate cantata. These clauses, after a long discussion, were 
granted, with reciprocal promises on Bathilde's part that she 
would return at seven o'clock the next evening, on the part 
of Mademoiselle de Launay and Madame du Maine that 
every one should continue to believe that it was Mademoiselle 
Berry who sung." 

" But then,^' asked D'Harmental, " how was the secret 
betrayed ? " 

"Oh! by an unforeseen circumstance," replied Brigand, 
in that strange manner which caused one to doubt if he was 
in jest or earnest. " All went off capitally, as you know, till 
the end of the cantata, and the proof is, that having only 
heard it once, you are able to remember it from one end to 
the other. At the moment the galley which brought us from 
the pavilion of Aurora touched the shore, whether from 
emotion at having sung for the first time in public, or that 
she recognized among Madame du Maine's suite some one 
she had not expected to see there, for some unknown reason, 
however, the poor goddess of night uttered a cry and fainted 
in the arms of the hours, her companions. All promises and 
oaths were at once forgotten ; her veil was removed to throw 
water in her face, so that when I came up, whilst you were 
going away with her Highness, I was much astonished to find, 
instead of Mademoiselle Berry, your pretty neighbor. I 
questioned Mademoiselle de Launay and, as it was impossible 
any longer to keep the incognito, she told me what had 
passed under the seal of secrecy, which I have betrayed for 
you only, my dear pupil, because, I do not know why, I can 
refuse you nothing." 

" And this indisposition ? " asked D'Harmental, with uneasi- 
ness. 

" Oh ! it was nothing ; a mere momentary emotion which 
had no bad consequences, since in spite of all they could say 
to the contrary Bathilde would not remain another hour at 
Sceaux, but insisted on returning, so that they put a carriage 



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A PRETEXT. 219 

at her disposal and she ought to have been home an hour 
before us." 

" Then you are sure she is at home ? Thanks, abb^, that 
is all I wished to know.'^ 

" And now," said Brigand, " I may go, may I not ? You 
have no more need of me, now that you know all you wish 
to know." 

" I do not say so, my dear Brigand ; on the contrary, stop, 
you will give me great pleasure." 

" No, I thank you ; I have got some business of my own 
to transact in the town and will leave you to your reflections, 
my dear pupil." 

" When shall I see you again ? " asked D^Harmental, 
mechanically. 

" Most likely to-morrow," answered the abbd 

" Adieu till to-morrow, then." 

« Till to-morrow." 

So saying, the abb^ turned round, laughing his peculiar 
laugh, and reached the door while D'Harmental was reopening 
his window, determined to remain there till the next day if 
necessary, and only desiring, as a reward for this long watch, 
to catch a single glimpse of Bathilde. 

For the poor fellow was head over heels in love. 



CHAPTER XXVII. 

A PRETEXT. 

Shortly after four o'clock D'Harmental saw Buvat turning 
the comer of the Rue du Temps-Perdu. The chevalier 
thought he could recognize in the worthy writer an air of 
greater haste than usual and instead of holding his stick per- 
pendicularly, as a bourgeois always does when he is walking, 
he held it horizontally, like a runner. As to that air of 
majesty which had so struck Boniface, it had entirely van- 
ished and had given place to a slight expression of uneasiness. 
He could not be mistaken. Buvat would not return so quickly 
if he was not uneasy about Bathilde. Bathilde, then, was 
suffering. 

The chevalier followed Buvat with his eyes till the moment 



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220 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

when lie disappeared in his own door. lyHarmental, with 
reason, imagined that Buvat would go into Bathilde's room 
instead of mounting to his own, and he hoped that Buvat 
would open the window to admit the last rays of the sun, 
which had been caressing it all day. 

But D'Harmental was wrong; Buvat contented himself 
with raising the curtain and pressing his good round face 
against the window and drumming on the panes with his 
hands ; but even this apparition was of short duration, for he 
turned round suddenly, as a man does when any one calls 
him, and let fall the muslin curtain behind him and dis- 
appeared. D'Harmental presumed that his disappearance 
was caused by some appeal to his appetite, and this reminded 
him that, in his preoccupation about the obstinacy of that 
unlucky window in refusing to open, he had forgotten his own 
breakfast which, it must be confessed, to the shame of his 
sensibility, was a very great infraction on his habits. Now, 
however, as there was no chance that the window would open 
while his neighbors were at dinner the chevalier determined 
to profit by the interval by dining himself ; consequently he 
rang for the porter and ordered him to get from the confec- 
tioner the fattest pullet and from the fruiterer the finest fruit 
that he could find. As to wine, he had still got some bottles 
of that which the Abb^ Brigand had sent him. 

lyHarmental ate with a certain remorse. He could not 
understand how he could be at the same time so tormented 
and have such a good appetite. Luckily he remembered 
reading in the works of some moralist or other that sorrow 
sharpened hunger wonderfully. This maxim set his con- 
science at rest, and the result was that the unfortunate 
pullet was eaten up to the very bones. 

Although the act of dining was very natural, and by no 
means reprehensible, D'Har mental shut the window, leaving, 
however, a comer of the curtain raised, and, thanks to this 
precaution, he saw Buvat — who had doubtless finished his 
repast — appear at the window of his terrace. As we have 
said, the weather was splendid and Buvat seemed disposed 
to profit by it ; but as he belonged to that class of beings who 
enjoy nothing alone, he turned round, with a gesture, which 
D'Harmental took to be an invitation to Bathilde — who had 
doubtless followed him into his room — to come on to the 
terrace to him ; consequently, he hoped for an instant that 



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A PRETEXT. 221 

Bathilde would appear, and he rose with a beating heart ; but 
he was mistaken. However tempting might be the beauti- 
ful evening, and however pressing the invitations of Buvat, 
both were useless; but it was not thus with Mirza, who, 
jumping out of the window without being invited, began to 
bound joyously about the terrace, holding in her mouth a 
purple ribbon, which she caused to flutter like a streamer, 
and which D'Harmental recognized, as the one which had 
fastened his neighbor's veil on the preceding night. Appar- 
ently, Buvat recognized it also, for he started off in pursuit 
of Mirza as fast as his little legs would allow him ; a pursuit 
which would doubtless have been indefinitely prolonged if 
Mirza had not had the imprudence to take refuge in the 
arbor. Buvat pursued, and an instant afterwards D'Har- 
mental saw him return with the ribbon in his hand and, after 
smoothing it on his knee, he folded it up, and went in, prob- 
ably to deposit it in a place of safety. 

This was the moment that the chevalier had waited for; 
he opened his window and watched. In a minute he saw 
Mirza put her head out of the arbor, look about her, and 
jump on to the terrace; then D'Harmental called her in the 
most caressing and seductive tone possible. Mirza trembled 
at the sound of his voice, then directed her eyes towards him. 
At the first look she recognized the man of the bits of sugar 
— gave a little growl of joy — then, with a rapid gastronomic 
instinct, she darted through Buvat's window with a single 
bound and disappeared. 

lyHarmental lowered his head and, almost at the same 
instant, saw Mirza coming across the street like a flash of 
lightning; and before he had time to shut his window she was 
already scratching at the door. Luckily for D'Harmental, 
Mirza had the memory of sugar as strongly developed as he 
had that of sounds. 

It will be easily understood that the chevalier did not make 
the charming little creature wait; and she darted into the 
room, bounding, and giving the most unequivocal signs of her 
joy at his unexpected return. As to D'Harmental, he was 
almost as happy as if he had seen Bathilde. Mirza was some- 
thing to the young girl ; she was her dearly-loved greyhound, 
so caressed and kissed by her, who laid his head on her 
knees during the day, and slept on the foot of her bed during 
the night. The chevalier set Mirza to eat sugar, and sat down ; 



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222 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

and letting his heart speak and his pen flow wrote the fol- 
lowing letter : 

"Dearest Bathilde: 

" You believe me very guilty, do you not ? But you can 
not know the strange circumstances in which I find myself, 
and which are my excuse ; if I could be happy enough to see 
you for an instant — even for an instant — you would under- 
stand that there are in me two different persons — the young 
student of the attic, and the gentleman of the f§tes at Sceaux. 
Open your window, then, so that I may see you, or your door, 
so that I may speak to you. Let me come and sue for your 
pardon on my knees. I am certain that when you know how 
unfortunate I am, and how devotedly I love you, you will have 
pity on me. 

" Adieu, once more ; I love you more than I can express ! 
— more than you can believe — more than you can ever 
imagine. 

« Eaoul." 

This billet, which would have appeared very cold to a 
woman of these days, because it only said just what the writer 
intended, seemed sufficient to the chevalier, and was really 
impassioned for the epoch ; thus D'Harmental folded it up, 
and attached it as he had the first to Mirza's collar ; then, 
taking up the sugar, which the greedy little animal followed 
with her eyes to the cupboard, where D'Harmental shut it up, 
the chevalier opened the door of his room, and showed Mirza, 
with a gesture, what there remained for her to do. Whether 
it was pride or intelligence, the little creature did not wait to 
be told twice, darted out on the staircase as if she had wings, 
and only stopped on the way to bite Monsieur Boniface, whom 
she met coming home from his office, crossed the road, and 
disappeared in Bathilde's house. D'Harmental remained at 
the window for a minute, fearing that Mirza would take his 
note to Buvat instead of Bathilde, but she was too intelligent 
for that, and he soon saw her appear in Bathilde's room. Con- 
sequently, in order not to frighten poor Bathilde too much, he 
shut his window, hoping that by this concession he should 
obtain some sign which would indicate to him that he was 
pardoned. 

But it did not turn out so. D'Harmental waited in vain all 



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A PRETEXT. 223 

the evening, and a great part of the night. At eleven o'clock 
the light, scarcely seen through the double curtains, still her- 
metically closed, went out altogether, and D'Harmental was 
obliged to renounce the hope of seeing Bathilde till the next 
day. 

The next day brought the same rigor ; it was a settled plan 
of defence which, with a man less in love than D'Harmental, 
would simply have indicated fear of defeat ; but the chevalier, 
with a simplicity worthy of the age of gold, saw nothing but a 
coldness, in the eternity of which he began to believe, and it is 
true that it lasted four and twenty hours. 

D'Harmental passed the morning in turning in his mind a 
thousand projects, each more absurd than the preceding one. 
The only one which had common sense was to cross the street, 
mount boldly to Bathilde's room, and tell her everything. It 
came to his mind like all the rest and, as it was the only 
reasonable one, D'Harmental did well to stop at it. However, 
it would be a great boldness to present himself thus before 
Bathilde, without being authorized by the least sign and with- 
out having any pretext to give. Such a course of conduct 
could but wound Bathilde, who was only too much irritated 
already ; it was better to wait, then, and D'Harmental waited. 
At two o'clock Brigand returned, and found D'Harmental in a 
very savage state of mind. The abb^ threw a glance towards 
the window, still hermetically closed, and divined everything. 
He took a chair and sat down opposite D'Harmental, twisting 
his thumbs around one another as he saw the chevalier doing. 

" My dear pupil," said he, after an instant's silence, " either 
I am a bad physiognomist, or I read on your face that some- 
thing profoundly sad has happened to you." 

" And you read right, my dear abb^," said the chevalier ; " I 
am ennuied." 

"Ah, indeed!" 

" So much so," said D^Harmental, " that I am ready to send 
your conspiracy to the devil." 

"Oh, chevalier, one must not throw the helve after the 
hatchet ! What ! send the conspiracy to the devil when it is 
going on wheels I Nonsense ; and what will the others say ? " 

" Oh, you are charming, you and your others. The others, 
my dear abb^, have society, balls, the opera, duels, mistresses, 
amusements in fact, and they are not shut up like me in a 
nasty garret." 



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224 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

" Yes ; but the piano, the drawing ? " 

<* Even with this it is not amusing/' 

" Ah, it is not amusing when one sings or draws alone ; but 
when one sings or draws in company it begins to do better." 

*'And with whom, in the devil's name, should I sing or 
draw?" 

" Well, there are the Denis girls." 

" Oh, yes, they sing beautifully and draw well, do they not ? '' 

" Mon Dieu / I do not propose them to you as virtuosos and 
artists ; they have not the talents of your neighbor. But by 
the by, there is your neighbor." 

" Well, my neighbor ? " 

" Why do you not sing with her since she sings so well ? 
That will amuse you." 

" Do I know her ? Does she even open her window ? Look, 
since yesterday she has barricaded herself in her own room. 
Ah, yes, my neighbor is amiable." 

" Yes, they told me that she was charming." 

" Besides, it seems to me, that both singing in our own 
rooms we should have a singular duet." 

" Then go to her room." 

" To her room ! Have I been introduced to her ? Do I know 
her?" 

" Well, make a pretext." 

" I 've been searching for one since yesterday." 

" And you have not found one, a man of imagination like 
you ? My dear pupil, I do not recognize you there." 

" Listen, abb^ ! A truce to your pleasantries — I am not in 
the humor for them to-day : every one has his stupid days." 

"Well, on those days one addresses one's self to one's 
friends." 

" To one's friends — and what for ? " 

" To find the pretext which one has sought for vainly one's 
self." 

" Well, then, abb^, you are my friend ; find the pretext. I 
wait for it." 

" Nothing is easier." 

« Eeally ! " 

<* Do you want it ? " 

" Take care what you engage to do." 

" I engage to open your neighbor's door to you/' 

" In a proper manner ? " 



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A PRETEXT. 225 

" How ! do I know any others ? '' 

" Abb^, I will strangle you if your pretext is bad/' 

« But it is good." 

" Then you are an adorable man." 

" You remember what the Comte de Laval said about the 
descent which the police have made upon the house in the Val- 
de-Grace, and the necessity he was under of sending away his 
workmen and burying his press." 

« Perfectly." 

"You remember the determination which was come to in 
consequence ? " 

" To employ a copyist." 

''Finally, you remember that I undertook to find that 
copyist ? " 

«Ido." 

"Well, this copyist on whom I had cast my eyes, this 
honest man whom I promised to discover is discovered, and is 
no other than the guardian of Bathilde." 

« Buvat ? " 

" Himself ! Well, I give you full powers ; you go to his 
house, you offer him gold, the door is opened to you on the 
instant, and you can sing as much as you like with Bathilde." 

" My dear abb^," cried D'Harmental, " you have saved my 
life ! " 

lyHarmental took his hat and darted towards the door ; now 
that he had a pretext he doubted of nothing. 

" Stop, stop," said Brigand ; " you do not even ask me where 
the good man must go for the papers in question." 

" To your house, pardieu / " 

" Certainly not, young man, certainly not." 

"Where, then?" 

"At the Prince de Listhnay's, Eue du Bac, 110." 

" The Prince de Listhnay ! And who is he ? " 

"One of our own making — D'Avranches, the valet-de- 
chambre to Madame du Maine." 

" And you think that he will play his part well ? " 

" Not for you, perhaps, who are accustomed to see princes, 
but for Buvat.'' 

" You are right. Au revoir, abb^ I " 

" You find the pretext good ? " 

"Capital." 

" Go, then, and good luck go with you." 



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226 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

D'Harmental descended the stairs four at a time ; then, 
having arrived at the middle of the street, and seeing the 
abbd watching him from the window he made a parting sign 
to him with his hand, and disappeared through the door of 
Bathilde's house. 



CHAPTER XXVIII. 

COUNTEBPLOTS. 

On her part, as may be easily understood, Bathilde had not 
made such an effort without suffering from it, for the poor 
child loved D'Harmental with all the strength of a love at 
seventeen, a first love. During the first month of his absence 
she had counted the days ; during the fifth week she had 
counted the hours ; during the last week she had counted the 
minutes. Then it was that the Abb^ Chaulieu fetched her to 
take her to Mademoiselle de Launay ; and as he had taken care 
not only to speak of her talents, but also to tell who she was, 
Bathilde was received with all the consideration which was 
due to her, and which poor De Launay paid all the mc)re 
readily from its having been so long forgotten towards herself. 

This removal, which had rendered Buvat so proud^ was 
received by Bathilde as an amusement which might help her 
to pass these last moments of suspense ; but when she found 
that Mademoiselle de Launay wished to retain her longer, 
when, according to her calculation, Raoul would return, she 
cursed the instant when the abb^ had taken her to Sceaux, 
and would certainly have refused if Madame du Maine her- 
self had not interposed. It was impossible to refuse a person 
who, according to the ideas of the time, from the supremacy 
of her rank, had almost a right to command this service ; but 
as she would have reproached herself eternally if Raoul had 
returned in her absence, and in returning had found her 
window closed, she had, as we have seen, insisted on returning 
to study the cantata, and to explain to Buvat what had passed. 
Poor Bathilde! she had invented two false pretexts to hide, 
under a double veil, the true motive of her return. 

If Buvat had been proud when Bathilde was employed to 
draw the costumes for the f §te, he was doubly so when he 
found that she was destined to play a part in it. Buvat had 



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COUNTERPLOTS. 227 

constantly dreamed of Bathilde's return to fortune, and to that 
social position of which her parents' death had deprived her, 
and all that brought her among the world in which she was 
born appeared to him a step towards this inevitable and happy 
result. However, the three days which he had passed without 
seeing her appeared to him like three centuries. At the office 
it was not so bad, though every one could see that some ex- 
traordinary event had happened ; but it was when he came 
home that poor Buvat found himself so miserable. 

The first day he could not eat, when he sat down to that 
table where, for thirteen years, he had been accustomed to see 
Bathilde sitting opposite to him. The next day, when Nanette 
reproached him, and told him that he was injuring his health, 
he made an effort to eat ; but he had hardly finished his meal 
when he felt as if he had been swallowing lead, and was 
obliged to have recourse to the most powerful digestives to 
help down this unfortunate dinner. The third day Buvat did 
not sit down to table at all, and Nanette had the greatest 
trouble to persuade him to take some broth, into which she 
declared she saw two great tears fall. In the evening Bathilde 
returned and brought back his sleep and his appetite. Buvat, 
who for three nights had hardly slept, and for three days 
had hardly eaten, now slept like a top and ate like an ogre. 
Bathilde also was very joyous ; she calculated that this must 
be the last day of Eaoul's absence. He had said he should be 
away six weeks. She had already counted forty-one long days, 
and Bathilde would not admit that there could be an instant's 
delay ; thus the next day she watched her neighbor's window 
constantly while studying the cantata. Carriages were rare in 
the Eue du Temps-Perdu, but it happened that three passed 
between ten and four; each time she ran breathless to the 
window, and each time was disappointed. At four o'clock 
Buvat returned, and this time it was Bathilde who could not 
swallow a single morsel. The time to set out for Sceaux at 
length arrived, and Bathilde set out deploring the fate which 
prevented her following her watch through the night. 

When she arrived at Sceaux, however, the lights, the noise, 
the music, and above all the excitement of singing for the first 
time in public, made her — for the time — almost forget Raoul. 
Now and then the idea crossed her mind that he might return 
during her absence, and finding her window closed would think 
her indifferent ; but then she remembered that Mademoiselle de 



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228 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

Laiinay had promised her that she should be home before day- 
light, and she determined that Raoul should see her standing 
at her window directly he opened his — then she would explain 
to him how she had been obliged to be absent that evening, 
she would allow him to suspect what she had suffered, and he 
would be so happy that he would forgive her. 

All this passed through Bathilde's mind whilst waiting for 
Madame du Maine on the border of the lake, and it was in 
the midst of the discourse she was preparing for Raoul that 
the approach of the little galley surprised her. At first — in 
her fear of singing before such a great company — she thought 
her voice would fail, but she was too good an artist not to be 
encouraged by the admirable instrumentation which supported 
her. She resolved not to allow herself to be intimidated and, 
abandoning herself to the inspiration of the music and the 
scene, she went through her part with such perfection that 
every one continued to take her for the singer whom she 
replaced, although that singer was the first at the opera and 
was supposed to have no rival. But Bathilde's astonishment 
was great when, after the solo was finished, she looked 
towards the group which was approaching her, and saw, 
seated by Madame du Maine, a young cavalier, so much like 
Raoul that, if this apparition had presented itself to her in 
the midst of the song, her voice must have failed her. For 
an instant she doubted ; but as the galley touched the shore 
she could do so no longer. Two such likenesses could not 
exist — even between brothers ; and it was certain that the 
young cavalier of Sceaux and the young student of the attic 
were one and the same person. 

This was not, however, what wounded Bathilde ; the rank 
which Raoul appeared to hold, instead of removing him from 
the daughter of Albert du Rocher only brought him nearer 
to her, and she had recognized in him, at first sight, as he 
had in her, the marks of high birth. What wounded her — 
as a betrayal of her good faith and an insult to her love 
— was this pretended absence, during which Raoul, forgetting 
the Rue du Temps-Perdu, had left his little room solitary to 
mix in the fStes at Sceaux. Thus Raoul had had but an 
instant's caprice for her, sufficient to induce him to pass a week 
or two in an attic, but he had soon got tired of this life : then 
he had invented the pretext of a journey, declaring that it 
was a misfortune; but none of this was true. Raoul had 



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COUNTERPLOTS. 229 

never quitted Paris — or, if lie had, his first visit had not 
been to the Rue du Temps-Perdu. 

When E-aoul touched the shore, and she found herself only- 
four steps from him, and saw him whom she had supposed to 
be a young provincial offering his arm, in that elegant and 
easy manner, to the proud Madame du Maine herself, her 
strength abandoned her and, with that cry which had gone to 
D'Harmental's heart, she fainted. On opening her eyes she 
found near her Mademoiselle de Launay, who lavished on her 
every possible attention. She wished that instead of return- 
ing to Paris Bathilde should remain at Sceaax, but she was 
in haste to leave this place where she had suffered so much, 
and begged, with an accent that could not be refused, to be 
allowed to return and, as a carriage was in readiness to take 
her, she went directly. On arriving, Bathilde found ITanette 
waiting for her ; Buvat had also wished to do so, but by 
twelve o'clock he was so sleepy that it was in vain he rubbed 
his eyes and tried to sing his favorite song; he could not 
keep awake, and at length he went to bed, telling Nanette 
to let him know the next morning as soon as Bathilde was 
visible. 

Bathilde was delighted to find Kanette alone; Buvat's 
presence would have been very irksome to her, but as soon 
as she found that there was no one but !N^anette, Bathilde 
burst into tears. Nanette had expected to see her young 
mistress return proud and joyous at the triumph which she 
could not fail to obtain, and was distressed to see her in this 
state, but to all her questions Bathilde replied that it was 
nothing, absolutely nothing. Nanette saw that it was no use 
to insist, and went to her room, which was next to Bathilde's, 
but could not resist the impulse of curiosity and, looking 
through the key-hole, she saw her young mistress kneel down 
before her little crucifix, and then, as by a sudden impulse, 
run to the window, open it, and look opposite. Nanette 
doubted no longer, Bathilde's grief was somehow connected 
with her love, and it was caused by the young man who lived 
opposite. Nanette was more easy ; women pity these griefs, 
but they also know that they may come to a good end. 
Nanette went to sleep much more easy than if she had not 
been able to find out the cause of Bathilde's tears. 

Bathilde slept badly ; the first griefs and the first joys of 
love have the same results. She woke, therefore, with sunken 



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230 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL, 

eyes and pale cheeks. Bathilde would have dispensed with 
seeing Buvat, but he had already asked for her twice, so she 
took courage and went smiling to speak to him. Buvat, how- 
ever, was not deceived ; he could not fail to notice her pale 
cheeks, and Bathilde's grief was revealed to him. She denied 
that there was anything the matter. Buvat pretended to 
believe her, but went to the office very uneasy and anxious to 
know what could have happened to her. 

When he was gone, Nanette approached Bathilde, who was 
sitting in her chair with her head leaning on her hand, and 
stood an instant before her, contemplating her with an almost 
maternal love ; then, finding that Bathilde did not speak, she 
herself broke silence. 

" Are you suffering still, mademoiselle ? " said she. 

"Yes, my good Nanette." 

" If you would open the window I think it would do you 
good.'' 

" Oh ! no, Nanette, thank you, the window must remain 
closed.'' 

" You do not know perhaps, mademoiselle ? " 

" Yes, yes, Nanette, I know." 

" That the young man opposite returned this morning " — 

" Well, Nanette ? " said Bathilde, raising her head and 
looking at her with severity, " what is that to me ? " 

" Pardon, mademoiselle," said Nanette, " but I thought " — 

" What did you think ? " 

" That you regretted his absence and would be glad of his 
return." 

" You were wrong." 

" Pardon, mademoiselle, but he appears so distinguished." 

" Too much so, Nanette ; a great deal too much so for poor 
Bathilde." 

" Too distinguished for you, mademoiselle ! " cried Nanette. 
" As if you were not worth all the noblemen in the world I 
besides, you are noble ! " 

« I know what I appear to be, Nanette — that is to say, a 
poor girl, with whose peace, honor, and love every nobleman 
thinks he may play with impunity. You see, Nanette, that 
this window must be closed. I must not see this young man 
again." 

" Mon Dieu ! Mademoiselle Bathilde, you wish then to kill 
this poor young man with grief ? This whole morning he has 



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COUNTERPLOTS. 281 

not moved from his window and looks so sad that it is enough 
to break one's heart." 

" What does his looking sad matter to me ? What has he 
to do with me ? I do not know him. I do not even know 
his name. He is a stranger, who has come here to stay for 
a few days and who to-morrow may go away again. If I had 
thought anything of him I should have been wrong, ITanette ; 
and, instead of encouraging me in a love which would be 
folly, you ought, on the contrary — supposing that it existed — 
to show me the absurdity and the danger of it.'' 

"Jfon Dieul mademoiselle, why so? You must love some 
day, and you may as well love a handsome young man who 
looks like a king and who must be rich since he does not do 
anything." 

*' Woll, Nanette, what would you say if this young man, 
who appears to you so simple, so loyal, and so good, were 
nothing but a wicked traitor, a liar ! " 

" Ah, mademoiselle, I should say it was impossible." 

" If I told you that this young man, who lives in an attic, 
and who shows himself at the window dressed so simply, was 
yesterday at Sceaux, giving his arm to Madame du Maine, 
dressed as a colonel ? " 

"I should say, mademoiselle, that at last God is just in 
sending you some one worthy of you. Holy Virgin ! a colonel I 
a friend of the Duchesse du Maine ! Oh, Mademoiselle 
Bathilde, you will be a countess, I tell you ! and it is not too 
much for you. If Providence gave every one what they 
deserve you would be a duchess, a princess, a queen, yes. Queen 
of France : Madame de Maiutenon was " — 

" I would not be like her, Nanette." 

" I do not say like her ; besides, it is not the King you love, 
mademoiselle." 

" I do not love any one, Nanette." 

" I am too polite to contradict you ; but never mind, you 
are ill ; and the first remedy for a young person who is ill is 
air and sun. Look at the poor flowers, when they are shut 
up they turn pale. Let me open the window, mademoiselle." 

" Nanette, I forbid you ; go to your work and leave me." 

"Very well, mademoiselle, I will go, since you drive me 
away," said Nanette, lifting the corner of her apron to her 
eye; "but if I were in that young man's place I know very 
well what I would do." 



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232 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

<' And what would you do ? " 

<^I would come and explain myself, and I am sure that 
even if he were wrong you would excuse him." 

"Nanette/' said Bathilde, "if he comes I forbid you to 
admit him ; do you hear ? " 

" Very well, mademoiselle ; he shall not be admitted, though 
it is not very polite to turn people away from the door/' 

« Polite OP not, you will do as I tell you," said Bathilde, 
to whom contradiction gave strength ; " and now go. I wish 
to be alone." 

Nanette went out. 

When she was alone, Bathilde burst into tears, for her 
strength was but pride. She believed herself the most unfor- 
tunate woman in the world, as D'Harmental thought himself 
the most unfortunate man. At four o'clock Buvat returned. 
Bathilde, seeing the traces of uneasiness on his good-natured 
face, tried all she could to tranquilize him. She smiled, she 
joked, she kept him company at table ; but all was in vain. 
After dinner he proposed to Bathilde, as an amusement which 
nothing could resist, to take a walk on the terrace. Bathilde, 
thinking that if she refused Buvat would remain with her, 
accepted, and went up with him into his room, but when there 
she remembered that she must write a letter of thanks to the 
Abb^ Chaulieu for his kindness in presenting her to Madame 
du Maine; and leaving her guardian with Mirza she went 
down. Shortly after she heard Mirza scratching at the door, 
and went to open it. Mirza entered with such demonstrations 
of joy that Bathilde understood that something extraordinary 
must have happened but, on looking attentively, she saw the 
letter tied to her collar. As this was the second she had 
brought, Bathilde had no difficulty in guessing the writer. 
The temptation was too strong to be resisted, so she detached 
the paper with one hand, which trembled as she remembered 
that it probably contained the destiny of her life, while with 
the other she caressed Mirza, who, standing on her hind legs, 
appeared delighted to become so important a personage. 
Bathilde opened the letter and looked at it twice without 
being able to decipher a single line. There was a mist before 
her eyes. 

The letter, while it said a great deal, did not say quite 
enough. It protested innocence and asked for pardon; it 
spoke of strange circumstances requiring secrecy ; but, above 



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COUNTERPLOTS. 288 

all, it said that the writer was madly in love. The result 
was that, without completely reassuring her, it yet did her 
good. Bathilde, however, with a remnant of pride, deter- 
mined not to relent till the next day. Since Eaoul confessed 
himself guilty, he should be punished. Bathilde did not 
remember that half of this punishment recoiled upon herself. 
The effect of the letter, incomplete as it was, was such that 
when Buvat returned from the terrace he thought Bathilde 
looked infinitely better and began to believe what she herself 
had told him in the morning, that her agitation was only 
caused by the emotion of the day before. Buvat went to his 
own room at eight o'clock, leaving Bathilde free to retire at 
any hour she liked, but she had not the least inclination to 
sleep ; for a long time she watched, contented and happy, for 
she knew that her neighbor's window was open, and by this 
she guessed his anxiety. Bathilde at length dreamed that 
Kaoul was at her feet, and that he gave her such good reasons 
that it was she, in her turn, who asked for pardon. 

Thus in the morning she awoke convinced that she had 
been dreadfully severe, and wondering how she could have 
had the courage to do so. It followed that her first move- 
ment was to run to the window and open it ; but perceiving, 
through an almost imperceptible opening, the young man at 
his window, she stopped short. Would not this be too com- 
plete an avowal? It would be better to wait for Nanette; 
she would open the window naturally, and in this way her 
neighbor would not be so able to pride himself on his con- 
quest. Nanette arrived, but she had been too much scolded 
the day before about this window to risk a second representa- 
tion of the same scene. She took the greatest pains to avoid 
even touching the curtains. Bathilde was ready to cry. Buvat 
came down as usual to take his coffee with Bathilde, and she 
hoped that he at least would ask why she kept herself so shut 
up, and give her an opportunity to open the window. Buvat, 
however, had received a new order for the classification of 
some manuscripts, and was so pre-occupied that he finished 
his coffee and left the room without once remarking that the 
curtains were closed. 

For the first time Bathilde felt almost angry with him, and 
thought he must have paid her very little attention not to 
discover that she must be half -stifled in such a close room. 
What was she to do ? Tell Nanette to open the window ? 



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234 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

She would not do it Open it herself she could not She 
must then wait; but till when? Till the next day, or the 
day after perhaps, and what would Baoul think ? Would he 
not become impatient at this exaggerated severity ? Sup- 
pose he should again leave for a fortnight, for a month, for 
six weeks — forever; Bathilde would die, she could not live 
without Eaoul. Two hours passed thus ; Bathilde tried every- 
thing, her embroidery, her harpsichord, her drawing, but she 
oould do nothing. Nanette came in — a slight hope returned 
to her, but it was only to ask leave to go out Bathilde 
signed to her that she could go. Nanette was going to the 
Faubourg St. Antoine ; she would be away two hours. What 
was she to do during these two hours ? It would have been 
so delightful to pass them at the window. 

Bathilde sat down and drew out the letter ; she knew it by 
heart, but yet she read it again. It was so tender, so 
passionate, so evidently from the heart. Oh! if she could 
receive a second letter. This was an idea; she looked at 
Mirza, the graceful little messenger ; she took her in her arms, 
and then, trembling as if she were about to commit a crime, 
she went to open the outer door. A young man was stand- 
ing before this door, reaching out his hand toward the bell. 
Bathilde uttered a cry of joy, and the young man a cry of 
love. It was Eaoul. 



CHAPTER XXIX. 

THE SEVENTH HEAVEN. 

Bathilde made some steps backwards, for she had nearly 
fallen into Eaoul's arms. Eaoul, having shut the door, fol- 
lowed Bathilde into the room. Their two names, exchanged in 
a double cry, escaped their lips. Their hands met in an elec- 
tric clasp, and all was forgotten. These two, who had so much 
to say to each other, yet remained for a long time silent. 
Their very souls spoke through their eyes, with that silent 
eloquence of love which can not lie. At last Bathilde, whose 
eyes had filled with tears, sighed deeply and murmured : 

" Ah, Eaoul, how I have suffered ! " 

" And I," said D'Harmental, " who have appeared to you 
guilty, and am yet innocent ! " 



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THE SEVENTH HEAVEN. 235 

" Innocent ! " cried Bathilde, to whom, by a natural reaction, 
all her doubts returned. 

" Yes, innocent," replied the chevalier. 

And then he told Bathilde all of his life that he dared to 
tell her — his duel with Laf are ; how he had, after that, hidden 
in the Bue du Temps-Perdu ; how he had seen Bathilde, and 
loved her ; his astonishment at discovering successively in her 
the elegant woman, the skilful painter, the accomplished 
musician ; his joy when he began to think that she was not 
indifferent to him ; then he told her how he had received, as 
colonel of Carabineers, the order to go to Brittany, and on his 
return was obliged to render an account of his mission to the 
Duchesse du Maine before returning to Paris. He had gone 
directly to Sceaux, expecting only to leave his despatches in 
passing, when he had found himself in the midst of the fSte, 
in which he had been obliged unwillingly to take a part. 
This recital was finished by expressions of regret, and such 
protestations of fidelity and love that Bathilde almost forgot 
the beginning of his discourse in listening to the end. 

It was now her turn. She also had a long history to tell 
D'Harmental ; it was the history of her life. With a certain 
pride in proving to her lover that she was worthy of him, she 
showed herself as a child with her father and mother, then 
an orphan and abandoned; then appeared Buvat with his 
plain face and his sublime heart, and she told all his kind- 
ness, all his love to his pupil ; she passed in review her 
careless childhood, and her pensive youth ; then she arrived 
at the time when she first saw D'Harmental, and here she 
stopped and smiled, for she felt that he had nothing more to 
learn. Yet D'Harmental insisted on hearing it all from her 
own lips, and would not spare her a single detail. Two 
hours passed thus like two seconds, and they were still there 
when some one rang at the door. Bathilde looked at the 
clock which was in the corner of the room ; it was six minutes 
past four; there was no mistake, it was Buvat. Bathilde's 
first movement was one of fear, but Raoul reassured her, 
smiling, for he had the pretext with which the Abb^ Brigand 
had furnished him. The two lovers exchanged a last grasp 
of the hand, then Bathilde went to open the door to her 
guardian, who, as usual, kissed her on the forehead, then, 
on entering the room, perceived D'Harmental. Buvat was 
astonished ; he had never before found any man with his 



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236 THE CHEVALIER ifHARMENTAL. 

pnpiL Bavat fixed on him his astonislied eyes and waited ; 
he fancied he had seen the young man before. IHHarmental 
advanced towards him with that ease of which people of a 
certain class have not even an idea. 

'< It is to Monsieur Buvat/' he said, '< that I have the honor 
of speaking ? " 

" To myself, sir/* said Bavat, starting at the sound of a 
voice which he thought he recognized ; << but the honor is on 
my side.'* 

" You know the Abb^ Brigand ? *' continued D'HarmentaL 

« Yes, perfectly, monsieur, — the — that — the — of Madame 
Denis, is he not ? " 

"Yes," replied IHHarmental, smiling; "the confessor to 
Madame Denis.*' 

" Yes, I know him. A clever man." 

" Did you not once apply to him to get some copies to 
make?" 

" Yes, monsieur, for I am a copyist, at your service." 

" Well," said D'Harmental, " tiiis dear Abb^ Brigaud, who 
is my guardian (that you may know who you are speaking 
to), has found an excellent customer for you." 

" Ah I truly ; pray take a seat, monsieur.'^ 

" Thank you." 

" And who is the customer ? " 

"The Prince de Listhnay, Rue du Bac, 110." 

" A prince, monsieur, a prince ! " 

"Yes; a Spaniard, who is in correspondence with the 
< Madrid Mercury,' and sends all the news from Paris." 

" Oh ! that is a great honor." 

"It will give you some trouble, however, for all the 
despatches are in Spanish." 

" Diable I " said Buvat. 

"Do you know Spanish ? " asked D'Harmental. 

" No, monsieur ; I do not think so, at least." 

" Never mind," continued the chevalier, smiling ; " one need 
not know a language to copy it" 

" I could copy Chinese, monsieur ; caligraphy, like drawing, 
is an imitative art." 

" And I know that in this respect. Monsieur Buvat," replied 
D'Harmental, " you are a great artist." 

" Monsieur," said Buvat, " you embarrass me. May I ask, 
without indiscretion, at what time I shall find his Highness ? " 



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THE SEVENTH HEAVEN. 237 

« What highness ? '' 

'< His Highness the prince — I do not remember the name 
you said/' replied Buvat. 

"Ah ! the Prince de Listhnay." 

« Himself.'* 

" He is no highness, my dear Monsieur Buvaf 

« Oh ! I thought all princes " — 

" This is only a prince of the third order, and he will be 
quite satisfied if you call him monseigneur." 

"You think so?" 

" I am sure of it." 

" And when shall I find him ? " 

"After your dinner; from five to half-past five. You 
remember the address ? '' 

" Yes ; Rue du Bac, 110. I will be there, monsieur." 

" Now," said D'Harmental, " au revoir ! And you, made- 
moiselle,*' said he, turning to Bathilde, "receive my thanks 
for your kindness in keeping me company while I waited for 
M. Buvat — a kindness for which I shall be eternally grateful." 

And D'Harmental took his leave, while Bathilde remained 
astonished at his ease and assurance in such a situation. 

" This young man is really very amiable," said Buvat. 

" Yes, very," said Bathilde, mechanically. 

" But it is an extraordinary thing ; I tMnk I have seen him 
before." 

" It is possible," said Bathilde. 

" And his voice — I am sure I know his voice." 

Bathilde started; for she remembered the evening when 
Buvat had returned frightened from the adventure in the 
Bue des Bons-Enfans, and D'Harmental had not spoken of 
that adventure. At this moment Kanette entered, announc- 
ing dinner. Buvat instantly went into the other room. 

" Well, mademoiselle," said Nanette, softly, " the handsome 
young man came, then, after all ? " 

" Yes, Nanette, yes," answered Bathilde, raising her eyes to 
heaven with an expression of infinite gratitude, " and I am 
very happy. " 

She passed in to the dining-room, where Buvat, who had 
put down his hat and stick on a chair, was waiting for her, 
and slapping his thighs with his hands, as was his custom in 
his moments of extreme satisfaction. 

As to D'Harmental, he was no less happy than Bathilde ; 



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2ii8 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

he was loved — he was sure of it ; Bathilde had told him so, 
with the same pleasure she had felt on hearing him make the 
same declaration. He was loved ; not by a poor orphan, not 
by a little grisette, but by a young girl of rank whose father 
and mother had occupied an honorable position at court. 
There were, then, no obstacles to their union, there was no 
social interval between them. It is true that D'Harmental 
forgot the conspiracy, which might at any time open an abyss 
under his feet and engulf him. Bathilde had no doubts for 
the future ; and when Buvat, after dinner, took his hat and cane 
to go to the Prince de Listhnay's, she first fell on her knees 
to thank God, and then, without hesitation, went to open the 
window so long closed. lyHarmental was still at his. They 
had very soon settled their plans and taken Nanette into their 
confidence. Every day, when Buvat was gone, D'Harmental 
was to come and stay two hours with Bathilde. The rest of 
the time would be passed at the windows, or, if by chance 
these mast be closed, they could write to each other. Towards 
seven o'clock they saw Buvat turning the corner of the Rue 
Montmartre ; he carried a roll of paper in one hand and his 
cane in the other, and by his important air it was easy to see 
that he had spoken to the prince himself. D'Harmental 
closed his window. Bathilde had seen Buvat set out with 
some uneasiness, for she feared that this story of the Prince 
de Listhnay was only an invention to explain D'HarmentaPs 
presence. The joyous expression of Bu vat's face, however, 
quite reassured her. 

"Well!" said she. 

" Well ! I have seen his Highness." 

" But, you know," answered Bathilde, " that M. Raoul said 
the Prince de Listhnay had no right to that title, and was only 
a prince of the third order." 

"I guarantee him of the first,'' said Buvat, ^' sabre da hois! 
a man of five feet ten, who throws his money about, and pays 
for copies at fifteen francs the page, and has given twenty-five 
louis in advance ! " 

Then another fear began to come into Bathilde's mind, that 
this pretended customer, whom Raoul had found for Buvat, 
was only a pretext to induce him to accept money. This fear 
had in it something humiliating; Bathilde turned her eyes 
towards D'Harinental's window, but she saw D'Harmental 
looking at her with so much love through the glass that she 



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THE SEVENTH HEAVEN. 239 

thought of nothing but looking at him in return, which she 
did for so long that Buvat came forward to see what was 
attracting her attention ; but D'Harmental, seeing him, let 
fall the curtain. 

"Well, then," said Bathilde, wishing to turn off his atten- 
tion, " you are content ? " 

'* Quite ; but I must tell you one thing," 

« What is it ? " 

" You remember that I told you that I thought I recognized 
the face and voice of this young man, but could not tell you 
where I had seen or heard them ? " 

" Yes, you told me so." 

" Well, it suddenly struck me to-day, as I was crossing the 
Rue des Bons-Enf ans, that it was the same young man whom 
I saw on that terrible night, of which I can not think without 
trembling." 

" What folly ! " said Bathilde, trembling, however, herself. 

" I was on the point of returning, however, for I thought 
this prince might be some brigand chief and that they were 
going to entice me into a cavern ; but as I never carry any 
money I thought that my fears were exaggerated and so I 
went on." 

" And now you are convinced, I suppose," replied Bathilde, 
" that this poor young man, who came from the Abb^ Brigand, ' 
has no connection with him of the Eue des Bons-Enfans." 

" Certainly, a captain of thieves could have no connection 
with his Highness, and now," continued Buvat, "you must 
excuse me if I do not stay with you this evening. I promised 
his Highness to begin the copies directly, and I must keep 
my word. So, good-night, my child." 

" Good-night, father, dear." 

So Buvat went to his room, and began at once upon the 
work paid for so generously in advance. 

As for the lovers, they at once resumed the interrupted 
conversation. Heaven only knows at what hour their windows 
were closed I 



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240 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

CHAPTEE XXX. 

FjgNiLON's SUCGESSOB. 

The two young people were now able to enjoy each other's 
society unrestricted, and for the next few days their joy was 
complete. But the earth, which seemed to them to stand 
still, was continuing its revolutions ; and momentous happen- 
ings were afoot which should speedily awaken them from their 
blissful dreams. 

The Due de Richelieu had kept his promise. The Marshal 
Villeroy, who had intended to remain a week away from the 
Tuileries, was recalled on the fourth day by a letter from his 
wife, who wrote to him that his presence was more than ever 
necessary near the King, the measles having declared itself at 
Paris, and having already attacked several persons in the 
Palais Royal. Monsieur de Villeroy came back directly, for 
it will be remembered that all those successive deaths which 
three or four years before had afflicted the kingdom had been 
attributed to the measles, and the marshal would not lose this 
opportunity of parading his vigilance. It was his privilege, 
as governor of the King, never to leave him except by an 
order from himself, and to remain with him whoever entered, 
even though it was the Regent himself. It was especially 
with regard to the Regent that the marshal affected such 
extraordinary precaution; and as this suited the hatred of 
Madame du Maine and her party, they praised Monsieur de 
Villeroy highly, and spread abroad a report that he had found 
on the chimney piece of Louis XV. some poisoned bonbons 
which had been placed there. 

The result of all this was an increase of calumny against 
the Due d'Orleans, and of importance on the part of the 
marshal, who persuaded the young King that he owed him his 
life. By this means he acquired great influence over the 
King, who, indeed, had confidence in no one but M. de Villeroy 
and M. de Fr^jus. M. de Villeroy was then the man they 
wanted for the message ; and it was agreed that the following 
Monday, a day when the Regent rarely saw the King, the two 
letters of Philip V. should be given to him, and M. de Villeroy 
should profit by his solitude with the King to make him sign 
the convocation of the States-General, and that it should be 



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fjSn£lon's successor. 241 

made public the next day before the hour of the Eegent's visit, 
so that there should be no means of drawing back. 

While all these things were plotting against him, the Regent 
was leading his ordinary life in the midst of his work, his 
studies, and his pleasures, and, above all, of his family bicker- 
ings. As we have said, three of his daughters gave him 
serious trouble. Madame de Berry, whom he loved the best, 
because he had saved her when the most celebrated doctors 
had given her up, throwing off all restraint, lived publicly 
with Riom, whom she threatened to marry at every observa- 
tion her father made. A strange threat, but which, if carried 
out, would at that time have caused far more scandal than the 
amours, which, at any other time, such a marriage would have 
sanctified. 

Mademoiselle de Chartres persisted in her resolution of 
becoming a nun, although she still, under her novitiate, con- 
tinued to enjoy all the pleasures she could manage to intro- 
duce into the cloister. She had got in her cell her guns and 
pistols and a magnificent assortment of fireworks, with which 
she amused her young friends every evening ; but she would 
not leave the convent, where her father went every Wednesday 
to visit her. 

The third person of the family who gave him uneasiness 
was Mademoiselle de Valois, whom he suspected of being 
Richelieu's mistress, but without ever being able to obtain 
certain proof — although he had put his police on the watch, 
and had himself more than once paid her visits at hours when 
he thought it most probable he should meet him. These sus- 
picions were also increased by her refusal to marry the Prince 
de Dombe, an excellent match, enriched as he was by the 
Spoils of La Grande Mademoiselle. The Regent had seized a 
new opportunity of assuring himself whether this refusal were 
caused by her antipathy to the young prince, or her love for 
the duke, by welcoming the overtures which Pldneuf, his 
ambassador at Turin, had made for a marriage between the 
beautiful Charlotte Agla6 and the Prince de Piedmont. Made- 
moiselle de Valois rebelled again, but this time in vain ; the 
Regent, contrary to his usual easy goodness, insisted, and the 
lovers had no hope, when an unexpected event broke it off. 
Madame, the mother of the Regent, with her German frank- 
ness, had written to the Queen of Sicily, one of her most 
coiivStant oorrospondents, that she loved her too much not to 



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242 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

warn her tliat the princess, who was destined for the young 
prince, had a lover, and that that lover was the Due de 
Eichelieu. It may be supposed that this declaration put an 
end to the scheme. 

The Eegent was at first excessively angry at this result of 
his mother's mania for writing letters, but he soon began to 
laugh at this epistolary escapade, and his attention was called 
off for the time by an important subject, namely, that of 
Dubois, who was determined to become an archbishop. We 
have seen how, on Dubois' return from London, the thing had 
first been broached under the form of a joke, and how the 
Regent had received the recommendation of King George ; but 
Dubois was not a man to be beaten by a first refusal. Cambray 
was vacant by the death of the Cardinal la Tremouille, and 
was one of the richest archbishoprics in the church. A 
hundred and fifty thousand francs a year were attached to it, 
and it was difficult to say whether Dubois was most tempted 
by the title of successor to F^n^lon, or by the rich benefice. 

Dubois, on the first opportunity, brought it again on the 
tapis. The Eegent again tried to turn it off with a joke, but 
Dubois became more positive, and more pressing. The Regent, 
thinking to settle it, defied Dubois to find a prelate who would 
consecrate him. 

" Is it only that ? " cried Dubois, joyously ; " then I have 
the man at hand." 

" Impossible ! " said the Eegent. 

« You will see," said Dubois, and he ran out. 

In five minutes he returned. 

« Well ? " asked the Eegent. 

" Well," answered Dubois, " I have got him." 

^^And who is the scoundrel who is willing to consecrate 
such another scoundrel as you ? " 

" Your first almoner, monsieur." 

« The Bishop of Nantes I " 

" Neither more nor less." 

" Tressan I " 

« Himself." 

" Impossible I " 

" Here he is." 

At this moment the door was opened, and the Bishop of 
Nantes was announced. 

"Come," cried Dubois, running to him, "his Eoyal Highness 



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fEnSlon's successor. ' 243 

honors us both in naming me Archbishop of Cambray, and in 
choosing you to consecrate me." 

" M. de Nantes," asked the Regent, " is it true that you 
consent to make the abb^ an archbishop ? " 

" Your Highness' wishes are commands for me." 

<^ Do you know that he is neither deacon, archdeacon, nor 
priest ? " 

" Never mind, monseigneur," cried Dubois ; " here is M. de 
Tressan, who will tell you all these orders may be conferred in 
a day." 

" But there is no example of such a thing." 

" Yes, Saint Ambloise." 

" Then, iny dear abb^," said the Regent, laughing, " if you 
have all the fathers of the church with you I have nothing 
more to say, and I abandon you to M. de Tressan." . 

" I will give him back to you with the cross and mitre, 
monseigneur." 

''But you must have the grade of licentiate," continued the 
Regent, who began to be amused at the discussion. 

" I have a promise from the University of Orleans." 

" But you must have attestations." 

" Is there not Besons ? " 

" A certificate of good life and manners." 

" I will have one signed by Noailles." 

"No, there I defy you, abb^." 

" Then your Highness will give me one. The signature of 
the Regent of France must have as much weight at Rome as 
that of a wicked cardinal." 

" Dubois," said the Regent, " a little more respect, if you 
please, for the princes of the church." 

" You are right, monseigneur. There is no saying what one 
may become." 

" You, a cardinal I " cried the Regent, laughing. 

" Certainly. I do not see why I should not be pope some 
day.'' 

" Well I Borgia was one." 

" May God give us both a long life, monseigneur, and you 
will see that and many other things." 

" Fardieu ! " said the Regent, " you know that I laugh at 
death." 

" Alas, too much." 

" Well, you will make a poltroon of me by curiosity." 



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244 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

^It would be none the worse; and to commenoey mon- 
seigneur would do well to discontinae bis nocturnal excursions." 

«Wby?*' 

^ In tbe first place because they endanger his lif &'' 

''What does that matter ? '' 

^ Then for another reason.'* 

«What?'' 

'' Because/' said Dubois, assuming a hypocritical air, '' they 
are a subject of scandal for the church ! " 

« Go to the devil/' 

'' Ton see, monsieur/' said Dubois, turning to Tressan, ^ in 
the midst of what libertines and hardened sinners I am obliged 
to live. I hope that your Eminence will consider my position, 
and will not be too severe upon me." 

" We will do our best, monseigneur/' said Tressan. 

'' And when ? " asked Dubois, who was unwilling to lose an 
hour. 

" As soon as you are ready." 

" I ask for three days." 

" Very well ; on the fourth I shall be at your orders." 

" To-day is Saturday. On Wednesday then." 

'* On Wednesday/' answered Tressan. 

« Only I warn you beforehand, abb^," answered the Eegent, 
'' that one person of some importance will be absent at your 
consecration." 

" And who will dare to do me that injury ? " 

« I shall." 

'' You, monseigneur ! You will be there, and in your official 
gallery." 

" I say not." 

" I bet a thousand louis." 

*' And I give you my word of honor." 

" I double my bet." 

"Insolent!" 

" On Wednesday, M. de Tressan. At my consecration, 
monseigneur." 

And Dubois left the room highly delighted, and spread about 
everywhere the news of his nomination. Still Dubois was 
wrong on one point, namely, the adhesion of the Cardinal de 
Noailles. No menace or promise could draw from him the 
attestation to good life and morals which Dubois flattered 
himself he should obtain at his hands. It is true that he was 



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fSnSlon's successor. 246 

the only one who dared to make this holy and noble opposition 
to the scandal with which the church was menaced. The 
University of Orleans gave the licenses and everything was 
ready on the appointed day. Dubois left at five o'clock in the 
morning, in a hunting-dress, for Pautoix, where he found M. de 
Tressan, who, according to his promise, bestowed on him the 
deaconship, the archdeaconship, and the priesthood. At twelve 
all was finished; and at four, after having attended the 
Regent's council, which was held at the old Louvre in conse- 
quence of the measles having, as we have said, attacked the 
Tuileries, Dubois returned home in the dress of an archbishop. 

The first person whom he saw in his room was La Fillon. 
In her double quality of attach^ to his secret police and to his 
public loves, she had admittance to his room at all hours ; and 
in spite of the solemnity of the day, as she had said that she 
had business of importance to communicate, they had not 
dared to refuse her. 

" Ah ! " cried Dubois, on perceiving his old friend, " a lucky 
meeting." 

" Fardieu ! my dear gossip," answered La Fillon, " if you 
are ungrateful enough to forget your old friends I am not 
stupid enough to forget mine, particularly when they rise in 
the world." 

" Ah ! tell me," said Dubois, beginning to pull off his sacer- 
dotal ornaments, " do you count on continuing to call me your 
gossip now that I am an archbishop ? " 

" More than ever. And I count on it so strongly that the 
first time the Eegent enters my house I shall ask him for an 
abbey that we may still be on an equality one with the 
other." 

" He comes to your house, then ? The libertine ! " 

" Alas ! no more, my dear gossip. Ah ! the good time is 
passed. But I hope that, thanks to you, it will return, and 
that the house will feel your elevation." 

" Oh ! my poor gossip," said Dubois, stooping down in order 
that La Fillon might unclasp his frock, *»you see that now 
things are much changed, and that I can no longer visit you as 
I used to do." 

" You are proud. Philippe comes there.'* 

" Philippe is only Eegent of France, and I am an archbishop. 
Do you understand ? I want a mistress at a house where I 
can go without scandal ; like Madame de Tencin, for example." 



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246 THE CHEVALIER ifHARMENTAL. 

^ Yes, who will deceive yon for Bichelieo.'' 

^ And I19W, on the contrary, do yon know that she will not 
deeeive Bichelien for me ? '' 

^ Hey-day ! and will she manage yonr police and yonr love at 
the same time ? ^ 

^Perhaps. Bnt ipro]>08 of police," answered Dubois, con- 
tinning to nndiess, ^do yon know that yonrs have slept 
infernally dnring three or four months, and that if this con- 
tinues I shall be obliged to withdraw yon from the superin- 
tendence ? '* 

*< Ah ! diable ! '* cried La Fillon ; *' this is the way you treat 
your old friends. I come to make a revelation ; well, you shall 
not know it." 

" A revelation ! and what about ? " 

'^ Pshaw ! take away my superintendence, scoundrel that you 
are." 

<^ Is it relating to Spain ? " asked the archbishop, frowning, 
and feeling instinctively that the danger came from thence. 

'^ It relates to nothing at all. Grood evening." 

And La Fillon made towards the door. 

<^Come here," said Dubois, stepping towards his desk; and 
the two old friends, who understood each other so well, looked 
towards each other and laughed. 

'< Come, come," said La Fillon, <^ I see that all is not lost, 
and that there is yet some good in you. Come, open this little 
desk and show me what it contains, and I will open my mouth 
and show you what I have in my heart" 

Dubois took out a rouleau of a hundred louis, and showed it 
to La Fillon. 

" How much is it ? " said she ; " come, tell the truth ; how- 
ever, I shall count after you, to be sure." 

<< Two thousand four hundred francs ; that is a pretty penny, 
it seems to me." 

" Yes, for an abb^, but not for an archbishop." 

"Do you not know to what an extent the finances are 
involved ? " 

" Well, what does that matter, you humbug, when law is 
going to make millions for us ? " 

<< Would you like in exchange ten thousand francs in 
Mississippi bonds ? " 

" Thanks, my dear, I prefer the hundred louis ; give them to 



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f£n£lon's successor. 247 

me ; I am a good woman, and another day you will be more 
generous." 

" Well, what have you to tell me ? Come/' 

" First promise me one thing." 

"What is it?" 

"That as it is about an old friend he shall come to no 
harm." 

"But if your old friend is a beggar who deserves to be 
hanged why should you cheat him of his due ? " 

" I have my own reasons." 

" Go along ; I promise nothing." 

" Well, good evening then. Here are the hundred louis." 

" Ah ! you are getting scrupulous all at once." 

<< Not at all ; but I am under obligations to this man ; he 
started me in the world." 

" He may boast of having done a good thing for society 
that day." 

"Rather, my friend; and he shall never have cause to 
repent it, for I will not speak a word to-day unless his life is 
safe." 

" Well, safe it shall be, I promise you ; are you content ? " 

" By what do you promise it me ? " 

" On the faith of an honest man." 

" Ah I you are going to deceive me." 

" Do you know that you are very tiresome ? " 

"Oh I I am very tiresome. Well, good-bye." 

" Gossip, I will have you arrested." 

" What do I care ? " 

" You shall be sent to prison." 

" That is a good joke." 

" I will leave you to die there." 

" Till you do it yourself. It will not be long/' 

" Well, what do you want ? " 

" My captain's life." 

" You shall have it." 

" On what faith ? " 

" On the faith of an archbishop/' 

" I want a better." 

" On the faith of an abb^." 

"Better still." 

" On the faith of Dubois." 

" That will do." 



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248 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

** Firrty I most tell yon that mj captain is the most ont at 
elbows of any in the kingdom.'^ 

'< Diable / he has a rival.'' 

" Still, he will have the prize." 

« Continne." 

^ Welly yon mnst know that lately he has become as rich 
as Cnssns.'^ 

« He mnst have robbed some millionaire.^ 

<< Incapable. Killed maybe — bnt robbed! What do yon 
take him for?'' 

" Do yon know where the money comes from ? " 

« Do yon know the different coinages ? '' 

« Yes." 

" Where does this come from, then ? " 

^* Ah I a Spanish doubloon." 

" And without alloy, with the effigy of King Charles 11. 
Doubloons which are worth forty-eight francs if they are 
worth a penny, and which run from his pockets like a stream, 
poor dear fellow." 

" And when did he begin to sweat gold ? " 

« The day after the Eegent was nearly carried off in the 
Bue des Bons-Enfans. Do yon understand the apologue, 
gossip ? " 

" Yes ; and why have you not told me before to-day ? " 

'^ Because his pockets were full then ; they are now nearly 
empty, which is the time to find out where he will fill them 
again." 

" And you wished to give him time to empty them ? " 

« Well, all the world must live." 

" And so they shall ; even your captain. But you under- 
stand that I must know what he does ? " 

'^ Day by day." 

<< And which of your girls does he love ? " 

" All, when he has money." 

" And when he has none ? " 

" La Normande." 

" I know her ; she is as sharp as a needle." 

" Yes, but you must not reckon on her." 

« Why not ? " 

" She loves him, the little fool." 

" Ah I he is a lucky fellow." 



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fMnMlon's successor. 249 

" And he merits it. He has got the heart of a prince, not 
like you, old miser." 

" Oh ! you know that sometimes I am worse than the prodi- 
gal son, and it depends on you to make me so." 

" I will do my best." 

« Then day by day I shall know what your captain does ? ^' 

« You shall." 

"On what faith?" 

" On the faith of an honest woman." 

" Something better." 

« On the faith of Fillon." 

« That will do." 

" Adieu, monseigneur the archbishop." 

" Adieu, gossip." 

La Fillon was going towards the door, when at that moment 
an usher entered. 

"Monseigneur," said he, "here is a man who wants to 
speak to your Eminence." 

" And who is he, idiot ? " 

" An employee of the royal library, who, in his spare time, 
makes copies." 

" And what does he want ? " 

" He says that he has an important revelation to make to 
your Eminence." 

" Oh ! it is some poor fellow begging." 

" No, monseigneur ; he says that it is a political affair." 

" Diable ! about what ? " 

" Kelative to Spain." 

" Send him in ; and you, gossip, go into this closet." 

" What for ? " 

"Suppose my writer and your captain should know each 
other ? " 

" Ah, that would be droll." 

" Come, get in quickly." 

La Fillon entered the closet which Dubois showed her. 

An instant afterwards, the usher opened the door and 
announced Monsieur Jean Buvat. 

We must now show how this important personage came to 
be received in private audience by the Archbishop of 
Cambray. 



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260 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

CHAPTER XXXL 

THB PRIKCS DK LISTHNAt's ACCOMPLICB. 

Thx reader will remember that we left Buvat going up to 
his own room, with his papers in his hand, to fulfil his prom- 
ise to the Prince de Listhnay. This promise was so scrupu- 
lously kept, that by seven o'clock the next evening the copy 
was finished and taken to the Bue du Bac. He then received 
from the same august hands some more work, which he 
returned with the same punctuality; so that the Prince de 
Listhnay, feeling confidence in a man who had given such 
proofs of exactitude, gave him at once sufficient papers to 
necessitate an interval of three or four days between this 
interview and the next. 

Buvat was delighted with this mark of confidence, and, on 
his return, set himself gaily to his work ; and, although he 
found that he did not understand a word of Spanish, he could 
now read it fluently, and had become so accustomed to it, that 
he felt quite disappointed when he found amongst the copies 
one all in French. It had no number, and almost appeared to 
have slipped in by mistake ; but he resolved, nevertheless, to 
copy it. He began with these lines : 

"Confidential. 

" For his Excellency Monsieur Alberoni in person. 

"Nothing is more important than to make sure of the 
places near the Pyrenees, and of the noblemen who reside in 
these cantons.^' 

" In these cantons ! " repeated Buvat, after having written 
it ; then, taking a hair from his pen, he continued : 

" To gain or master the garrison of Bayonne.'' 

" What is that ? " said Buvat. " Is not Bayonne a French 
town ? Let us see — let us see ; '^ and he continued : 

" The Marquis de P is governor of D . One knows 

the intentions of that nobleman ; when it is decided, it will be 
necessary for him to triple his expenditure, in order to attract 
the aristocracy : he ought to scatter rewards. 

"In Normandy, Charenton is an important post. Pursue 
the same course with the governor of that town as with the 

Marquis of P ; go f urtiier — promise his officers suitable 

rewards. 



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THE PRINCE DE LISTEN AY'S ACCOMPLICE. 251 

" Do the same in all the provinces." 

" Hallo I " cried Buvat, re-reading what he had just written ; 
<< what does this mean ? It seems to me that it would be 
prudent to read it all before going further." 

He read : 

« To supply this expenditure one ought to be able to reckon 
on at least three hundred thousand francs the £rst month, and 
afterwards a hundred thousand per month, paid to the day." 

" Paid to the day ! " murmured Buvat, breaking off. " It is 
evidently not by France that these payment^ are to be made, 
since France is so poor that she has not paid me my nine 
hundred francs' salary for five years. Let us see — let us 
see ; " and he recommenced : 

" That expenditure, which will cease at the peace, will ena- 
ble his Catholic majesty to act with certainty in case of war. 

" Spain will only be an auxiliary. The army of Philip V. 
is in France." 

" What ! what I what I " cried Buvat ; " and I did not even 
know that it had crossed the frontier." 

"The army of Philip V. is in France. A body of about 
ten thousand Spaniards is more than sufficient, with the 
presence of the King. 

<< But we must be able to count on being able to seduce over 
at least half of the Due d'Orleans' army (Buvat trembled). 
This is the most important, and can not be done without 
money. A present of one hundred thousand francs is neces- 
sary for each battalion or squadron. 

" Twenty battalions would be two millions ; with that sum 
one might form a trustworthy army, and destroy that of the 
enemy. 

" It is almost certain that the subjects most devoted to the 
King of Spain will not be employed in the army which will 
march against him. Let them disperse themselves through 
the provinces; there they will act usefully. To re-supply 
khem with a character — if they have none — it will be neces- 
sary for his Catholic majesty to send his orders in blank, for 
his minister in Paris to fill up. 

** In consequence of the multiplicity of orders, it would be 
better if the ambassador had the power to sign for the King 
of Spain. 

" It would be well, moreover, if his Majesty were to sign 
his orders as a French prince ; tiie title is his own. 



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252 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

" Prepare funds for an army of thirty thousand men, whom 
his Majesty will find brave, skilful, and disciplined. 

" This money should arrive in Trance at the end of May, or 
the commencement of June, and be distributed directly in the 
capitals of provinces, such as Kantes, Bayonne, etc. 

"Do not allow the French ambassador to leave Spain. 
His presence will answer for the safety of those who declare 
themselves." 

" Sa^e de hois I " cried Buvat, rubbing his eyes ; " but this 
is a conspiracy — a conspiracy against the person of the 
Begent, and j^ainst the safety of the kingdom. Oh ! oh ! " 

Buvat fell into profound meditation. 

Indeed the position was critical. Buvat mixed up in a 
conspiracy — Buvat charged with a state secret — Buvat hold- 
ing in his hands, perhaps, the fate of nations ; a smaller thing 
would have thrown him into a state of strange perplexity. 

Thus seconds, minutes, hours flowed away, and Buvat 
remained on his chair, his head drooping, his eyes fixed on 
the floor, and perfectly still. From time to time, however, a 
deep breath — like an expression of astonishment — escaped 
his breast. 

Ten o'clock, eleven — midnight sounded. Buvat thought 
that the night would bring him aid, and he determined to go 
to bed. It is needless to say that his copying came to an end 
when he saw that the original was assuming an illegal charac- 
ter. 

Buvat could not sleep ; the poor fellow tossed from side to 
side, but scarcely had he shut his eyes before he saw this 
horrible plan of the conspiracy written upon the wall in letters 
of fire. Once or twice, overcome by fatigue, he fell asleep ; 
but he had no sooner lost consciousness than he dreamed, the 
first time that he was arrested by the watch as a conspirator ; 
the second that he was stabbed by the conspirators themselves. 
The first time Buvat awoke trembling ; the second time bathed 
in perspiration. These two impressions had been so terrible 
that he lighted his candle and determined to wait for day, 
without another attempt to sleep. 

The day came, but, far from dispelling the phantoms of the 
night, it only gave a more terrific reality. At the least noise 
Buvat trembled. Some one knocked at the street door. Buvat 
thought he should faint. Nanette opened his room door, and 
he uttered a cry. Nanette ran to him, and asked what was 



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THE PRINCE DE LISTHNAY'S ACCOMPLICE. 258 

tlie matter, but he contented himself with shaking his head, 
and answering, with a sigh : 

"Ah, my poor Nanette, we live in very sad times." 

He stopped directly, fearing he had said too much. He was 
too pre-occupied to go down to breakfast with Bathilde; 
besides, he feared lest the young girl should perceive his 
uneasiness and ask the cause ; and as he did not know how 
to keep anything from her, he would have told her all, and 
she would then have become his accomplice. He had his 
coffee sent up to him, under pretext of having an overwhelm- 
ing amount of work to do, and that he was going to work 
during breakfast. As Bathilde's love profited by this absence, 
she was rather pleased at it than otherwise. 

A few minutes before ten, Buvat left for his office; his 
fears had been strong in his own house, but once in the street 
they changed into terrors. At every crossing, at the end of 
every court, behind every angle, he thought that he saw the 
police officers waiting for him. At the comer of the Place 
des Victoires a musketeer appeared, coming from the Rue 
Pagevin, and Buvat gave such a start on seeing him that he 
almost fell under the wheels of a carriage. At last, after 
many alarms, he reached the library, bowed almost to the 
ground before the sentinel, darted up the stairs, gained his 
office, and falling exhausted on his seat he shut up in his 
drawer all the papers of the Prince de Listhnay, which he 
had brought with him, for fear the police should search his 
house during his absence ; and finding himself in safety, 
heaved a sigh, which would not have failed in denouncing 
him to his colleagues as being a prey to the greatest agitation, 
if he had not, as usual, arrived the first. 

Buvat had a principle, which was that no personal pre- 
occupation, whether grave or gay, ought to disturb a clerk in 
the execution of his duty. Therefore he set himself to his 
work, apparently as if nothing had happened, but really in a 
state of moral perturbation impossible to describe. 

This work consisted, as usual, in classifying and arranging 
books. There having been an alarm of fire three or four days 
before, the books had been thrown on the flooi:, or carried out 
of the reach of the flames, and there were consequently four 
or five thousand volumes to be reinstated in their proper 
places ; and, as it was a particularly tedious business, Buvat 
had been selected for it, and had hitherto acquitted himself 



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254 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

with an intelligence and assiduity which had merited the com* 
mendations of his superiors and the raillery of his colleagues. 

In spite of the urgency of the work, Buvat rested some 
minutes to recover himself ; but as soon as he saw the door 
open, he rose instinctively, took a pen, dipped it in the ink, 
took a handful of parchment labels, and went towards the 
remaining books, took the first which came to hand, and con- 
tinued his classification, murmuring between his teeth, as was 
his habit under similar circumstances. 

" The ' Breviary of Lovers,' printed at Liege in 1712 : no 
printer's name. Ah, mon Dieu ! what amusement can Chris- 
tians possibly find in reading such books ? It would be better 
if they were all burnt in the Place de Grfeve by the hand of 
the public hangman ! Chut I What name have I been pro- 
nouncing there ! I wonder who this Prince de Listhnay, who 
has made me copy such things, is ; and the young man who, 
under pretext of doing me a service, introduced me to such a 
scoundrel. Come, come, this is not the place to think about 
that. How pleasant it is writing on parchment; the pen 
glides as if over silk. What is the next ? " 

" Well, monsieur," said the head clerk, " and what have you 
been doing for the last five minutes, with your arms crossed, 
and your eyes fixed ? " 

" Nothing, M. Ducoudray, nothing. I was planning a new 
mode of classification.'' 

" A new mode of classification I Are you turned reformer ? 
Do you wish to commence a revolution, M. Buvat ? " 

" I ! a revolution ! " cried Buvat, with terror. " A revolu- 
tion, monsieur ! — never, oh, never I Good heavens, my devo- 
tion to monseigneur the Begent is known; a disinterested 
devotion, since he has hot paid me for five years, as you 
know." 

" Well, go on with your work." 

Buvat continued : " ' Conspiracy of Monsieur de Cinq-Mars' 
— diahle 1 diahle ! I have heard of that. He was a gallant 
gentleman, who was in correspondence with Spain; that 
cursed Spain. What business has it to mix itself up eternally 
with our affairs? It is true that this time it is said that 
Spain will only be an auxiliary ; but an ally, who takes posses- 
sion of our towns and who debauches our soldiers, appears to 
me very much like an enemy. < Conspiracy of Monsieur de 
Cinq-Mars, followed by a History of his Death, and that of 



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THE PRINCE DE LISTEN AY'S ACCOMPLICE. 255 

Monsieur de Thou, condemned for not revealing it. By an 
eye-witness/ For not revealing! It is true, no doubt, for 
the law is positive. Whoever does not reveal is an accom- 
plice — myself, for instance. I am the accomplice of the 
Prince de Listhnay ; and if they cut off his head they will cut 
off mine too. No, they will only hang me — I am not noble. 
Hanged 1 — it is impossible; they would never go to such 
extremities in my case ; besides, I will declare all. But then 
I shall be an informer ; never ! But then I shall be hanged 
— oh, oh!" 

"What is the matter, Buvat?'* said a clerk; "you are 
strangling yourself by twisting your cravat." 

"I beg your pardon, gentlemen," said Buvat, "I did it 
mechanically ; I did not mean to offend you." 

Buvat stretched out his hand for another book. " < Con- 
spiracy of the Chevalier Louis de Rohan.^ Oh, I come to 
nothing but conspiracies ! ' Copy of a Plan of Grovernment 
found amongst the Papers of Monsieur de Eohan, and entirely 
written by Van der Enden.' Ah, mon Dieu! yes. That is 
just my case. He was hanged for having copied a plan. Oh, 
I shall die I * Proc^s-verbal of the Torture of Francis- Affinius 
Van der Enden.' If they read one day, at the end of the con- 
spiracy of the Prince de Listhnay, * Procte-verbal of the Torture 
of Jean Buvat 1 ' " Buvat began to read. 

"Well, well, what is the matter, Buvat?" said Ducoudray, 
seeing the good man shake and grow pale. " Are you ill ? " 

"Ah, M. Ducoudray," said Buvat, dropping the book, and 
dragging himself to a seat, " ah, M. Ducoudray, I feel I am 
going to faint." 

"That comes of reading instead of working," said a clerk. 

" Well, Buvat, are you better ? " asked Ducoudray. 

" Yes, monsieur, for my resolution is taken, taken irrevoc- 
ably. It would not be just, by heaven, that I should bear 
the punishment for a crime which I never committed. I owe 
it to society, to my ward, to myself. M. Ducoudray, if the 
curator asks for me you will tell him that I am gone out on 
pressing business." 

And Buvat drew the roll of paper from the drawer, pressed 
his hat on to his head, took his stick, and went out with the 
majesty of despair. 

" Do you know where he has gone ? " asked the clerk. 

" No," answered Ducoudray. 



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256 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

" I will tell you — to play at bowls at the Champs-Elys^es, 
or at Porcherons." 

The clerk was wrong ; he had neither gone to the Champs- 
Elys^s nor to Porcherons. He had gone to Dubois. 



CHAPTER XXXIL 

THE FOX AND THE GOOSE. 

" M. Jean Bxtvat/' said the usher. 

Dubois stretched out his snake-like head^ darted a look at 
the opening which was left between the usher and the door, 
and, behind the official introducer, perceived a little fat man, 
pale, and whose legs shook under him, and who coughed to 
give himself assurance. A glance sufficed to inform Dubois 
the sort of person he had to deal with. 

" Let him come in," said Dubois. 

The usher went out, and Jean Buvat appeared at the door. 

" Come in, come in," said Dubois. 

" You do me, honor, monsieur/' murmured Buvat, without 
moving from his place. 

" Shut the door, and leave us," said Dubois to the usher. 

The usher obeyed, and the door striking the posterior part 
of Buvat made him bound a little way forward. Buvat, 
shaken for an instant, steadied himself on his legs, and 
became once more immovable, looking at Dubois with an 
astounded expression. 

In truth, Dubois was a curious sight. Of his episcopal 
costume he had retained the inferior part ; so that he was in 
his shirt, with black breeches and violet stockings. This dis- 
agreed with all Buvat's preconceived notions. What he had 
before his eyes was neither a minister nor an archbishop, but 
seemed much more like an ourang-outang than a man. 

" Well, monsieur," said Dubois, sitting down and crossing 
his legs, and taking his foot in his hand, " you have asked to 
speak to me. Here I am." 

" That is to say," said Buvat, " I asked to speak to Mon- 
seigneur the Archbishop of Cambray." 

« Well, I am he." 

« How I you, monseigneur ? " cried Buvat, taking his hat in 



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THE FOX AND THE GOOSE. 267 

both hands, and bowing almost to the ground : " excuse me, 
but I did not recognize your Eminence. It is true that this 
is the first time I have had the honor of seeing you. Still 
— hum ! at that air of majesty — hum, hum — I ought to have 
understood '' — 

" Your name ? " asked Dubois, interrupting the good man's 
compliments. 

" Jean Buvat, at your service.'* 

« You are *' — 

" An employee at the library." 

" And you have some revelations to make to me concerning 
Spain?*' 

"That is to say, monseigneur — This is how it is. As my 
office work leaves me six hours in the evening and four in the 
morning, and as heaven has blessed me with a very good hand- 
writing, I make copies/' 

" Yes, I understand," said Dubois ; " and some one has given 
you suspicious papers to copy, so you have brought these 
suspicious papers to me, have you not ? " 

" In this roU, monseigneur, in this roll," said Buvat, extend- 
ing it towards Dubois. 

Dubois made a single bound from his chair to Buvat, took 
the roll and sat down at a desk and, in a turn of the hand, 
having torn off the string and the wrapper, found the papers 
in question. The first on which he lighted were in Spanish ; 
but as Dubois had been sent twice to Spain, and knew some- 
thing of the language of Calderon and Lopez de Vega, he saw 
at the first glance how important these papers were. Indeed, 
they were neither more nor less than the protestation of the 
nobility, the list of officers who requested commissions under 
the King of Spain, and the manifesto prepared by the Cardinal 
de Polignac and the Marquis de Pompadour to rouse the 
kingdom. These differenf: documents were addressed directly 
to Philip V. ; and a little note — which Dubois recognized as 
Cellamare's handwriting — announced that the denouement of 
the conspiracy was near at hand ; he informed his Catholic 
majesty, from day to day, of all the important events which 
could advance or retard the scheme. Then came, finally, that 
famous plan of the conspirators which we have already given 
to our readers, and which — left by an oversight amongst the 
papers which had been translated into Spanish — had opened 
Buvat's eyes. Near the plan, in the good man's best writing, 



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258 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL, 

was the copy which he had begun to make, and which was 
broken off at the words, " Act thus in all the provinces." 

Buvat had followed all the working of Dubois' face with a 
certain anxiety ; he had seen it pass from astonishment to joy, 
then from joy to impassibility. Dubois, as he continued to 
read, had passed, successively, one leg over the other, had 
bitten his lips, pinched the end of his nose, but all had been 
utterly untranslatable to Buvat, and at the end of the reading 
he understood no more from the face of the archbishop than he 
had understood at the end of the copy from the Spanish 
original. As to Dubois, he saw that this man had come to 
furnish him with the beginning of a most important secret, and 
he was meditating on the best means of making him furnish 
the end also. This was the signification of the crossed legs, 
the bitten lips, and the pinched nose. At last he appeared to 
have taken his resolution. A charming benevolence overspread 
his countenance, and turning towards the good man, who had 
remained standing respectfully : 

" Take a seat, my dear M. Buvat," said he. 

" Thank you, monseigneur," answered Buvat, trembling ; " I 
am not fatigued." 

" Pardon, pardon," said Dubois, " but your legs shake." 

Indeed, since he had read the proc^s-verbal of the question 
of Van der En den, Buvat had retained in his legs a nervous 
trembling, like that which may be observed in dogs that have 
just had the distemper. 

"The fact is, monseigneur," said Buvat, "that I do not 
know what has come to me the last two hours, but I find a 
great difficulty in standing upright." 

" Sit down, then, and let us talk like two friends." 

Buvat looked at Dubois with an air of stupefaction, which, 
at any other time, would have had the effect of making him 
burst out laughing, but now he did not seem to notice it, and 
taking a chair himself, he repeated with his hand the invita- 
tion which he had given with his voice. There was no means 
of drawing back ; the good man approached trembling, and sat 
down on the edge of his chair ; put his hat on the ground, took 
his cane between his legs, and waited. All this, however, was 
not executed without a violent internal struggle as his face 
testified, which, from being white as a lily when he came in, 
had now become as red as a peony. 

" My dear M. Buvat, you say that you make copies ? " 



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THE FOX AND THE GOOSE. 269 

" Yes, monseigneur." 

" And that brings you in " — 

" Very little, monseigneur, very little." 

" You have, nevertheless, a superb handwriting, M. Buvat." 

" Yes, but all the world does not appreciate the value of that 
talent as your Eminence does." 

" That is true, but you are employed at the library ? " 

" I have that honor.'' 

" And your place brings you " — 

" Oh, my place — that is another thing, monseigneur ; it 
brings me in nothing at all, seeing that for five years the 
cashier has told us at the end of each month that the King 
was too poor to pay us." 

" And you still remained in the service of his Majesty ? that 
was well done, M. Buvat ; that was well done." 

Buvat rose, saluted Dubois, and reseated himself. 

" And, perhaps all the while you have a family to support 
— a wife, childrcD ? " 

" No, monseigneur ; I am a bachelor." 

" But you have parents, at all events ? " 

" No, monseigneur ; but I have a ward, a charming young 
person, full of talent, who sings like Mademoiselle Berry and 
who draws like Greuze." 

« Ah, ah ! and what is the name of your ward, M. Buvat ? " 

" Bathilde — Bathilde du Kocher, monseigneur ; she is a 
young person of noble family, her father was squire to 
Monsieur the Regent, when he was still Due de Chartres, and 
had the misfortune to be killed at the battle of Almanza." 

" Thus I see you have your charges, my dear Buvat." 

" Is it of Bathilde that you speak, monseigneur ? Oh, no, 
Bathilde is not a charge ; on the contrary, poor dear girl, she 
brings in more than she costs. Bathilde a charge ! Firstly, 
every month M. Papillon, the colorman at the corner of the 
Rue Cl^ry, you know, monseigneur, gives her eighty francs for 
two drawings ; then " — 

*< I should say, my dear Buvat, that you are not rich." 

" Oh ! rich, no, monseigneur, I am not, but I wish I was, for 
poor Bathilde's sake; and if you could obtain from mon- 
seigneur that out of the first money which comes into the 
state coffers he would pay me my arrears, or at least something 
on account " — 

" And to how much do your arrears amount ? " 



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260 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

"To four thousand seven hundred francs, two sous, and 
eight centimes, monseigneur." 

« Is that all ? '' said Dubois. 

" How ! is that all, monseigneur ? '' 

" Yes, that is nothing.'' 

" Indeed, monseigneur, it is a great deal, and the proof is 
that the King can not pay it." 

" But that will not make you rich.'' 

" It will make me comfortable, and I do not conceal from 
you, monseigneur, that if, from the first money which comes 
into the treasury " — 

" My dear Buvat," said Dubois, " I have something better 
than that to offer you." 

" Offer it, monseigneur." 

" You have your fortune at your fingers' ends." 

" My mother always told me so, monseigneur." 

" That proves," said Dubois, " what a sensible woman your 
mother was." 

" Well, monseigneur ! I am ready ; what must I do ? " 

" Ah ! mon Dieu ! the thing is very simple ; you will make 
me now, and here, copies of all these." 

" But, monseigneur " — 

" That is not all, my dear Monsieur Buvat. You will take 
back to the person who gave you these papers, the copies and 
the originals, you will take all that that person gives you ; you 
will bring them to me directly, so that I may read them, then 
you will do the same with other papers as with these, and so 
on indefinitely, till I say enough." 

"But, monseigneur, it seems to me that in acting thus I 
should betray the confidence of the prince." 

" Ah 1 it is with a prince that you have business. Monsieur 
Buvat! and what may this prince be called? " 

" Oh, monseigneur, it appears to me that in telling you his 
name I denounce " — 

" Well, and what have you come here for, then ? " 

"Monseigneur, I have come here to inform you of the 
danger which his Highness runs, that is all." 

" Indeed," said Dubois, in a bantering tone, " and you 
imagine you are going to stop there ? " 

^} I wish to do so, monseigneur." 

" There is only one misfortune, that it is impossible, my dear 
Monsieur Buvat." 



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THE FOX AND THE GOOSE. 261 

« Why impossible ? " 

« Entirely." 

"Monseigneur, I am an honest man," 

" M. Buvat, you are a fool." 

" Monsieur, I still wish to keep silence." 

" My dear monsieur, you will speak." 

" And if I speak I shall be the informer against the prince." 

" If you do not speak you are his accomplice." 

" His accomplice, monseigneur ! and of what crime ? " 

" Of the crime of high treason. Ah ! the police have had 
their eyes on you this long time, M. Buvat I " 

" On me, monseigneur ? " 

" Yes, on you ; under the pretext that they do not pay you 
your salary you entertain seditious proposals against the 
state." 

" Oh I monseigneur, how can they say so ? " 

" Under the pretext of their not paying you your salary 
you have been making copies of incendiary documents for the 
last four days." 

"Monseigneur, I only found it out yesterday; I do not 
understand Spanish." 

" You do understand it, monsieur." 

" I swear, monseigneur." 

" I tell you you do understand it, and the proof is that there 
is not a mistake in your copies. But that is not all." 

" How, not all ? " 

" No, that is not all. Is this Spanish ? Look, monsieur," 
and he read : 

"Nothing is more important than to make sure of the 
places in the neighborhood of the Pyrenees, and the noble- 
men who reside in the cantons. " 

« But, monseigneur, it was just by that that I made the 
discovery." 

" M. Buvat, they have sent men to the galleys for less than 
you have done." 

" Monseigneur ! " 

"M. Buvat, men have been hanged who were less guilty 
than you." 

" Monseigneur ! monseigneur ! " 

" M. Buvat, they have been broken on the wheel." 

" Mercy, monseigneur, mercy ! " 

" Mercy to a criminal like you, M. Buvat ! I shall send 



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262 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

you to the Bastile and Mademoiselle Bathilde to Saint 
Lazare.'^ 

<< To Saint Lazare ! Bathilde at Saint Lazare, monseignear ! 
Bathilde at Saint Lazare ! and who has the right to do that ? '' 

« I, M. Buvat." 

" No, monseigneur, you have not the right I " cried Buvat, 
who could fear and suffer everything for himself, but who, at 
the thought of such infamy, from a worm became a serpent. 
'^Bathilde is not a daughter of the people, monseigneurl 
Bathilde is a lady of noble birth, the daughter of a man who 
saved the life of the Begent, and when I represent to his 
Highness " — 

" You will go first to the Bastile, M. Buvat," said Dubois, 
pulling the bell so as nearly to break it, ^< and then we shall 
see about Mademoiselle Bathilde." 

" Monseigneur, what are you doing ? " 

« You will see." The usher entered. " An officer of police 
and a carriage." 

" Monseigneur I " cried Buvat, " all that you wish " — 

" Do as I have bid you," said Dubois. 

The usher went out. 

<< Monseigneur!" said Buvat, joining his hands; ^^mon-« 
seigneur, I will obey." 

<< No, M. Buvat. Ah ! you wish a trial, you shall have one. 
You want a rope, you shall not be disappointed." 

<* Monseigneur," cried Buvat, falling on his knees, " what 
must I do ? " 

" Hang, hang, hang ! " continued Dubois. 

<< Monseigneur,'' said the usher, returning, " the carriage is 
at the door and the officer in the ante-room." 

"Monseigneur," said Buvat, twisting his little legs, and 
tearing out the few yellow hairs which he had left, " mon- 
seigneur, will you be pitiless ? " 

"Ah I you will not tell me the name of the prince ? " 

" It is the Prince de Listhnay, monseigneur." 

" Ah I you will not tell me lus address ? " 

" He lives at No. 110, Rue du Bac, monseigneur." 

" You will not make me copies of those papers ? " 

" I will do it, I will do it this instant," said Buvat ; and he 
went and sat down before the desk, took a pen, dipped it in 
the ink and, taking some paper, began the first page with a 
superb capital. " I will do it, I will do it, monseigneur; only 



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THE FOX AND THE GOOSE. 263 

you will allow me to write to Bathilde that I shall not be 
home to dinner ? Bathilde at the Saint Lazare I '^ murmured 
Buvat between his teeth, " Sa^re de hois ! he would have done 
as he said/' 

" Yes, monsieur, I would have done that, and more too, for 
the safety of the state, as you will find out to your cost if 
you do not return these papers, and if you do not take the 
others, and if you do not bring a copy here every evening." 

"But, monseigneur,'' cried Buvat, in despair, "I cannot 
then go to my office.'' 

« Well, then, do not go to your office." 

" Not go to my office ! but I have not missed a day for 
twelve years, monseigneur." 

" Well, I give you a month's leave." 

"But I shall lose my place, monseigneur." 

"What will that matter to you, since they do not pay 
you ? " 

" But the honor of being a public functionary, monseigneur ; 
and, moreover, I love my books, I love my table, I love my 
hair seat," cried Buvat, ready to cry ; " and to think that I 
shall lose it all!" 

" Well, then, if you wish to keep your books, your table, 
and your chair, I should advise you to obey me." 

" Have I not already put myself at your service ? " 

" Then you will do what I wish ? " 

"Everything." 

" Without breathing a word to any one ?" 

" I will be dumb." 

" Not even to Mademoiselle Bathilde ? " 

" To her less than any oae, monseigneur." 

" That is well. On that condition I pardon you.^' 

" Oh, monseigneur ! " 

" I shall forget your fault." 

"Monseigneur is too good." 

" And, perhaps, I will even reward you." 

" Oh, monseigneur, what magnanimity ! " 

" Well, well, set to work." 

" I am ready, monseigneur, I am ready." 

And Buvat began to write in his most flowing hand, and 
never moving his eyes, except from the original to the copy, 
and staying from time to time to wipe his forehead, which 
was covered with perspiration. Dubois profited by his 



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264 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

industry to open the closet for La Fillon^ and signing to her 
to be silent, he led her towards the door. 

" Well, gossip," whispered she, for in spite of his caution 
she could not restrain her curiosity, " where is your writer ? " 

" There he is,'' said Dubois, showing Buvat, who, leaning 
over his paper, was working away industriously. 

"What is he doing?'' 

« Guess." 

^ How should I know ? " 

" Then you want me to tell you ? " 

« Yes." 

" Well, he is making my cardinal's hat." 

La Fillon uttered such an exclamation of surprise that 
Buvat started and turned round; but Dubois had already 
pushed her out of the room, again recommending her to send 
him daily news of the captain. 

But the reader will ask what Bathilde and D'Harmental 
were doing all this time. Nothing — they were happy. 



CHAPTER XXXIIL 

A CHAPTER FROM SAINTHSIMON. 

Thus four days passed, during which Buvat — remaining 
absent from the office on pretext of indisposition — succeeded 
in completing the two copies, one for the Prince de Listhnay, 
the other for Dubois. During these four days — certainly 
the most agitated of his life — he was so taciturn and gloomy 
that Bathilde several times asked him what was the matter ; 
but as he always answered nothing, and began to sing his 
little song, Bathilde was easily deceived, particularly as he 
still left every morning as if to go to the office — so that she 
saw no material alteration from his ordinary habits. 

As for D'Harmental, he received every morning a 'Visit from 
the Abb^ Brigand, announcing that everything was going on 
right ; and as his own love affairs were quite as prosperous, 
D'Harmental began to think that to be a conspirator was no 
great hardship after all. 

Meanwhile the Due d'Orleans, suspecting nothing, continued 
his ordinary gay and careless life. On Sunday he had invited 



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A CHAPTER FROM SAINT-SIMON. 265 

the customary guests to supper, when in the afternoon Dubois 
entered his room. 

" Ah, it is you, abb^ ! I was going to send to you to know 
if you were going to make one of us to-night.'^ 

" You are going to . have a supper, then, monseigneur ? *' 
asked Dubois. 

" Where do you come from with your fast-day face ? Is 
not to-day Sunday ? " 

" Yes, monseigneur." 

"Well, then, come back to us; here is the list of the 
guests. Nocd, Laf are, Fargy, Ravanne, Broglie ; I do not invite 
Brancas : he has been wearisome for some days. I think he 
must be conspiring. Then La Phalaris and D'Averne, they 
can not bear each other ; they will tear out each other^s eyes, 
and that will amuse us. Then we shall have La Souris and 
perhaps Madame de Sabran if she has no appointment with 
Eichelieu.'' 

" This is your list, monseigneur ? " 

" Yes." 

" Well, will your Highness look at mine now ? " 

" Have you made one too ? " 

" No, it was brought to me ready made." 

"What is this?" asked the Regent, looking at a paper 
which Dubois presented to him. 

" ' Nominal list of the officers who request commissions in 
the Spanish army : Claude Francois de Ferrette, Knight of 
Saint Louis, Field Marshal and Colonel of Cavalry ; Boschet, 
Knight of Saint Louis, and Colonel of Infantry, De Sabran, 
De Larochefoucault-Gondrel, De Villeneuve, De Lescure, 
De Laval.' Well, what next ? " 

" Here is another ; " and he presented a second letter to the 
duke. 

" ' Protestation of the nobility.^ " 

"Make your lists, monseigneur, you are not the only one 
you see — the Prince de Cellamare has his also." 

" * Signed without distinction of ranks, so that there may 
be no dissatisfaction: De Vieux-Pont, De la Pailleterie, 
De Beaufremont, De Latour-du-Pin, De Montauban, Louis de 
Caumont, Claude de Polignac, Charles de Laval, Antoine de 
Chastellux, Armand de Richelieu.' Where did you fish up 
all this, you old fox ? " 

" Wait, monseigneur, we have not done yet. Look at this." 



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THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

^* ' Plan of the conspirators : Nothing is more important 
than to make sure of the strong places near the Pyrenees^ 
to gain the garrison of Bayonne.' Surrender our towns ! 
give the keys of France into ^e hands of the Spanish ! What 
does this mean, Dubois ? " 

<< Patience, monseigneur ; we have better than that to show 
you ; we have here the letters from his Majesty, Philip V. 
himself." 

« ' To the King of France ' — But these are only copies." 

" I will tell you soon where the originals are." 

" Let us see, my dear abb^, let us see. * Since Providence 
has placed me on the throne of Spain,' etc., etc. < In what 
light can your faithful subjects regard the treaty which is 
signed against me ? ' etc., etc. * I beg your Majesty to convoke 
the States-General of the kingdom.' Convoke the States- 
General ! In whose name ?" 

" In the name of Philip V." 

" Philip V. is King of Spain and not of France. Let him 
keep to his own character. I crossed the Pyrenees once to 
secure him on his throne ; I might cross them a second time 
to remove him from it." 

" We will think of that later — I do not say no ; but for the 
present we have the fifth piece to read — and not the least 
important, as you will see." 

And Dubois presented another paper to the Regent, which 
he opened with such impatience that he tore it in opening it. 

" Never mind," said Dubois, " the pieces are good ; put 
them together and read them." 

The Regent did so, and read : 

" * Dearly and well beloved.' 

" Ah ! " said the Regent, " it is a question of my deposition, 
and these letters, I suppose, were to be given to the King ?" 

" To-morrow, monseigneur." 

" By whom ? " 

« The marshal." 

" Villeroy ? " 

" ffimself ." 

<^ How did he determine on such a thing ? " 

^' It was not he ; it was his wife, monseigneur." 

« Another of Richelieu's tricks ? " 

'* You are right, monseigneur." 

" And from whom do you get those papers ? '* 



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PHILIPPE DUC D'ORLEANS, REGENT OF FRANCE. 
(From an engraving after a drawing by Boilly.) 



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f 



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A CHAPTER FROM SAINT^SIMON. 267 

" From a poor writer to whom they have been given to be 
copied, since, thanks to a descent made on Laval's house, a 
press which he has hidden in the cellar has ceased to work/' 

<^And this writer is in direct communication with Cella- 
mare? The idiots!" 

" Not at all, monseigneur , their measures are better taken. 
The good man has only had to deal with the Prince de 
Listhnay." 

" Prince de Listhnay ! Who is he ? " 

"Euedu Bac, 110.'' 

" I do not know him." 

" Yes, you do, monseigneur.^' 

" Where have I seen him ? " 

" In your ante-chamber." 

" What I this pretended Prince de Listhnay.'* 

" Is no other than that scoundrel D'Avranches, Madame du 
Maine's valet-de-chambreJ' 

'^ Ah I I was astonished that she was not in it." 

<< Oh ! she is at the head, and if monseigneur would like to 
be rid of her and her clique we have them all." 

*< Let us attend to the most pressing." 

'^ Yes, let us think of Villeroy. Have you decided on a 
bold stroke?'' 

<* Certainly. So long as you confine yourself to parading 
about like a man at a theatre or a tournament, very well ; so 
long as you confine yourself to calumnies and impertinences 
against me, very good; but when it becomes a question of 
the peace and tranquillity of France, you will find. Monsieur 
le Marshal, that you have already compromised them suflft- 
ciently by your military inaptitude, and we shall not give 
you an opportunity of doing so again by your political 
follies." 

" Then," said Dubois, " we must lay hold of him ? " 

" Yes ; but with certain precautions. We must take him in 
the act." 

<^ Kothing easier. He goes every morning at eight o'clock 
to the King." 

« Yes." 

" Be to-morrow at half-past seven at Versailles." 

"Well?" 

" You will go to his Majesty before him." 

"Very well." 



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268 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

'^ A^d when he comes I shall accuse him in the presence of 
the King/' 

" No, no, monseigneur. In the first place you must '' — 

At that moment the usher opened the door. 

" Hush,'' said the Eegent. Then turning to the usher : 

" What do you want ? " he asked. 

" The Due de Saint-Simon is here." 

" Has he come on urgent business ? " 

The usher went out and exchanged a few words with the 
duke. Then coming back he said : 

" The matter is most urgent, monseigneur." 

" Let the duke come in then." 

Saintr Simon entered. 

" You will excuse me for a few minutes, duke," said the 
Kegent, " but I have a small matter to settle with Dubois, and 
then I shall be at your service." 

The Eegent and Dubois continued to converse in low tones 
for some minutes, and then Dubois took his leave. 

" There will be no supper party this evening," said Dubois 
to the usher as he left the room ; " let the guests know that 
the Regent is indisposed." 

Then he departed. 

" I am sorry to hear that you are not well, monseigneur," 
said Saint-Simon with genuine sincerity, for he was really 
attached to the Regent. 

" It is nothing serious, my dear duke," said Philippe, " but 
Chirac declares that if I am not more careful I shall die of 
apoplexy, so I mean to turn over a new leaf." 

" Well, monseigneur," replied Saint-Simon, " I only hope 
your good resolutions are sincere, and that they may not have 
come too late." 

" What do you mean, my dear duke ? " 

"I mean tiiat your Highness' indiscretions have already 
given cause for scandal, I fear." 

" Oh, the scandal-mongers must be quite weary of abusing 
me ; they have been at it so long." 

" Unfortunately, monseigneur," replied Saint-Simon, " they 
are always ready to return to the attack, and lately have 
become more venomous than ever." 

" To what do you refer ? " 

"Well, here 's an instance. Just now, as I was coming 
from Vespers, I saw a beggar standing on the steps of Saint- 



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A CHAPTER FROM SAINT-SIMON. 269 

Eoch asking alms. He was singing, and while he sang he 
distributed pamphlets to the passers-by. Now what do you 
suppose was the subject of these pamphlets ? " 

" Oh, it might be anything ; a Christmas hymn, a complaint 
against Monsieur Law, or the Duchesse de Berry, or perhaps 
even a diatribe abusing me. My dear duke, let them sing as 
much as they like as long as they pay.'' 
"Well, just read that, monseigneur." 

So saying, Saint-Simon handed the Regent a paper, upon 
which some popular ballad was apparently printed. 

The Regent shrugged his shoulders as he took it, but his 
expression changed to one of disgust as he read the following 
verses : 

*< Te dauntless pair, whose scathing speech 
Stirred Greece and Rome in days of yore, 
And goaded them to wage, 'gainst each 

Of tyrants twain, relentless war, 
Fired by your courage — undismay'd 

I burn to follow where ye led I 
To crush a monster, still more yile 

Than those, your aid I humbly ask. 
Grant me some measure of your bile 
To help me in the mighty task." 

" Tour Highness has no difficulty in recognizing the style ? " 
said SaintrSimon. 

"No,'' replied the Regent, "it is written by Lagrange- 
Chancel." And he continued reading : 

** His infant hatred still suryiyes ; 

As child, as man, 't is widely known, 
He raged (and rages) 'gainst the liyes 

That stand betwixt him and the throne. 
Maddened by this deprayed idea 

He courted Circ6 and Medea, 
And made their arts his pleasure sole ; 

' Thinking their unclean rites — to fill 
The days — a worthy pastime, till 

The time should come to win his goal.'' 

" Really, duke," said the Regent, handing the paper to Saint- 
Simon, " I have not the least wish to read any more. It is too 
contemptible." 

" You had better finish reading it, monseigneur. It is as 
well you should know of what your enemies are capable of 
accusing you. They proclaim open war ; so much the better. 



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270 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

War let it be. You will soon prove to them that they are 
fighting against the hero of Nerwinden, Steenkirk, and Lerida." 

" You really wish me to read this ? " 

" It is absolutely necessary, monseigneur." 

The Regent reluctantly took up the paper, glanced at the 
third stanza, and then read the fourth aloud, as follows : 

^< Like as, across the watery waste, 

WaTe follows wave with restless haste, — 
So these, who mourn a murdered sire. 

By the same hand bereft of Ufe, 
To Hades pass, in sequence dire 

Brother and brother — husband — wife I 
Towards two sons left (oh I worst of all 

The horrors that poor France befall) 
Now sweeps Fate's scythe with grim intent I 

The first has shared his forbears' doom, 
The second victim — haggard — faint 

Awaits his summons to the tomb I " 

The Regent read this stanza slowly, lingering over each line, 
and when he came to the last couplet he trembled with indig- 
nation. He crumpled the paper in his hands, and tried to 
speak; but his voice failed him and two great tears rolled 
down his cheeks. 

" Monseigneur," said Saint-Simon who was full of sympathy 
for the Regent's distress, " Monseigneur, I would that the 
whole world could see your tears. For then all would be con- 
vinced of your innocence and it would be unnecessary for you 
to vindicate yourself." 

" My innocence, yes," murmured the Regent, " the young 
King is a living witness to that. Madame de Maintenon, 
Madame du Maine, M. de Yilleroy ; these are the real culprits. 
Lagrange-Chancel is only their tool. And yet, Saint-Simon, 
at this moment I have them in my power and, if I choose, I 
can crush them beneath my heel." 

" Then crush them, monseigneur, while you have the chance." 

The Regent was thoughtful for a moment and his face 
gradually resumed its naturally good-natured expression. 

"Well," said Saint-Simon, seeing that the Regent had 
recovered his composure, " I see that you do not intend to 
take any decisive action to-day." 

" To-day, no, duke," replied Philippe. " 1 have something 
more important to consider than how I shall avenge myself. 
I must save France." 



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trapped! 271 

And pressing Saint-Simon's hand the Regent went to his 
own room. 

At nine o'clock the same evening he left the Palais Royal 
for Versailles ; where contrary to his usual custom he spent 
the night. 



CHAPTER XXXIV. 

TRAPPED ! 

The next day, about seven o'clock in the morning, at the 
time when the King rose, an usher entered his Majesty's 
room and announced that his Royal Highness, Monseigneur 
le Due d' Orleans, solicited the honor of assisting at his toilet. 
Louis XV., who was not yet accustomed to decide anything 
for himself, turned towards Monsieur de Fr^jus, who was 
seated in the least conspicuous corner of the room, as if to 
ask what he should say ; and to this mute question Monsieur 
de Pr^jus not only made a sign with his head signifying that 
it was necessary to receive Ms Royal Highness, but rose and 
went himself to open the door. The Regent stopped a 
minute on the doorstep to thank Pleury, then having assured 
himself by a rapid glance round the room that the Marshal de 
Villeroy had not yet arrived, he advanced towards the King. 

Louis XV. was at this time a pretty child of nine or ten 
years of age, with long chestnut hair, jet black eyes, and a 
mouth like a cherry, and a rosy complexion like that of his 
mother, Mary of Savoy, Duchesse de Burgundy, but which 
was liable to sudden paleness. Although his character was 
already very irresolute, thanks to the contradictory influences 
of the double government of the Marshal de Villeroy and 
Monsieur de Er^jus, he had something ardent in his face 
which stamped him as the great-grandson of Louis XIV.; 
and he had a trick of putting on his hat like him. At first, 
warned against the Due d'Orleans as the man in all France 
from whom he had most to fear, he had felt that prejudice 
yield little by little during the interviews which they had had 
together, in which, with that juvenile instinct which so rarely 
deceives children, he had recognized a friend. 

On his part, it must be said that, the Due d'Orleans had 
for the King, besides the respect which was his due, a love 



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272 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

the most attentive and the most tender. The little business 
which could be submitted to his young mind he always pre- 
sented to him with so much clearness and talent that politics, 
which would have been wearisome with any one else, became 
a recreation when pursued with him, so that the royal child 
always saw his arrival with pleasure. It must be confessed 
that this work was almost always rewarded by the most 
beautiful toys which could be found, and which Dubois, in 
order to pay his court to the King, imported from Germany 
and England. His Majesty therefore received the Regent 
with his sweetest smile, and gave him his little hand to kiss 
with a peculiar grace, while the Archbishop of Fr^jus, faith- 
ful to his system of humility, had sat down in the same comer 
where he had been surprised by the arrival of the Regent. 

" I am very glad to see you, monsieur," said Louis XV. 
in a sweet little voice, from which even the etiquette which 
they imposed upon him could not entirely take away all grace ; 
" and all the more glad to see you from its not being your 
usual hour. I presume that you have some good news to tell 
me." 

"Two pieces, sire," answered the Regent; "the first is, 
that I have just received from Nuremberg a chest which seems 
to me to contain " — 

" Oh, toys ! lots of toys ! does it not. Monsieur le Regent ? " 
cried the King, dancing joyously, and clapping his hands, 
regardless of his valet-de-chambre, who was waiting for him, 
and holding the little sword with a cut-steel handle which 
he was going to hang in the King's belt. " Oh, the dear toys ! 
the beautiful toys ! how kind you are I Oh I how I love you, 
Monsieur le Regent ! " 

" Sire, I only do my duty," answered the Due d'Orleans, 
bowing respectfully, " and you owe me no thanks for that." 

" And where is it, monsieur ? Where is this pretty chest?" 

" In my apartments, sire ; and if your Majesty wishes it 
brought here I will send it during the course of the day or 
to-morrow morning." 

" Oh ! no ; now, monsieur ; now, I beg." 

" But it is at my apartments." 

" Well, let us go to your apartments," cried the child, run- 
ning to the door, and forgetting that he wanted, in order to 
complete his toilet, his little sword, his little satin jacket, and 
his cordon-bleu. 



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trapped! 273 

« Sire," said Fr^jus, advancing, " I would remark that your 
Majesty abandons yourself too entirely to the pleasure caused 
by the possession of things that you should already regard as 
trifles." 

"Yes, monsieur; yes, you are right," said Louis XV., 
making an effort to control himself ; " but you must pardon me ; 
I am only ten years old, and I worked hard yesterday." 

" That is true," said Monsieur de Fr^jus ; " and so your 
Majesty will employ yourself with the toys when you have 
asked Monsieur le Regent what the other piece of news 
which he came to bring you is." 

" Ah I yes. By the by, what is the second affair ? " 

" A work which will be profitable to France, and which is 
of so much importance that I think it most necessary to 
submit it to your Majesty." 

"Have you it here ?" asked the King. 

"No, sire; I did not expect to find your Majesty so well 
inclined to work, and I left it in my study." 

" Well," said Louis XV., turning half towards Monsieur de 
Fr^jus, half towards the Regent, and looking at both of them 
with an imploring eye, " can not we reconcile all that ? 
Instead of taking my morning walk I will go and see these 
beautiful Nuremberg toys, and when we have seen them we 
will pass into your study and work." 

"It is .against etiquette, sire," answered the Regent, "but 
if your Majesty wishes it " — 

" Oh, I do wish it ! That is," added he, turning and look- 
ing at Fr^jus so sweetly that there was no resisting it, " if my 
good preceptor permits it." 

" Does Monsieur de Frdjus see anything wrong in it ? " said 
the Regent, turning towards Fleury, and pronouncing these 
words with an accent which showed that the preceptor would 
wound him deeply by refusing the request which his royal 
pupil made him. 

" No, monseigneur," said Frdjus ; " quite the contrary. It is 
well that his Majesty should accustom himself to work ; and 
if the laws of etiquette are a little violated that violation will 
bring about a happy result for the people. I only ask of 
monseigneur the permission to accompany his Majesty." 

" Certainly, monsieur," said the Regent, " with the greatest 
pleasure." 

" Oh, how good ! how kind ! " cried Louis XV. *^ Quick I 



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274 THE CHEVALIER DHARMENTAL. 

my sword, my jacket, my cordon-bleu. Here I am. Monsieur 
le Begent ; " and he advanced to take the Eegent's hand. But 
instead of allowing that familiarity, the Regent bowed, and, 
opening the door, signed to the King to precede him, follow- 
ing three or four paces behind, hat in hand, together with 
Fr^jus. 

The King's apartments, situated on the ground floor, were 
level with those of the Due d'Orleans, and were only separated 
by an ante-chamber, opening into the King's rooms and a gal- 
lery leading from thence to the ante-chamber of the Regent. 
The distance was short, therefore, and — as the King was in 
haste to arrive — they found themselves in an instant in a 
large study, lighted by four windows, all forming doors, which 
opened into the garden. This large study led to a smaller one, 
where the Regent generally worked, and where he brought his 
most intimate friends and his favorites. All his Highness' 
court was in attendance — a very natural circumstance, since 
it was the hour for rising. The King, however, did not notice 
either Monsieur d'Artagnan, captain of the Gray Musketeers, 
or the Marquis de Lafare, captain of the Guards, or a very 
considerable number of the Light Horse, who were drawn up 
outside the windows. It is true that on a table in the middle 
of the room he had seen the welcome chest, whose monstrous 
size had, in spite of the chilling exhortation of Monsieur de 
Fr^jus, caused him to give a cry of joy. 

However, he was obliged to contain himself, and receive 
the homage of Monsieur d'Artagnan and Monsieur de Lafare ; 
meanwhile the Regent had called two valets-de-chambrey who 
quickly opened the lid, and displayed the most splendid col- 
lection of toys which had ever dazzled the eyes of a King of 
nine years old. At this tempting sight the King forgot alike 
preceptor, guards, and Gray Musketeers. He hastened towards 
this paradise which was opened to him, and, as from an inex- 
haustible mine, he drew out successively locks, three-deckers, 
squadrons of cavalry, battalions of infantry, pedlers with their 
packs, jugglers with their cups; in fact all those wonders 
which, on Christmas eve, turn the heads of all children beyond 
the Rhine ; and that, with such undisguised transports of joy, 
that Monsieur de Frejus himself respected his royal pupil's 
happiness. The assistants watched him with that religious 
silence which surrounds great griefs or great joys. While 
this silence was the most profound a violent noise was heard 



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trapped! 275 

in the ante-chamber, the door was opened, an usher announced 
the Duke de Villeroy, and the marshal appeared, loudly 
demanding to see the King. As they were, however, accus- 
tomed to such proceedings, the Eegent merely pointed to his 
Majesty, who was still continuing to empty the chest, cover- 
ing the furniture and floor with the splendid toys. 

The marshal had nothing to say ; he was nearly an hour 
late ; the King was with Monsieur Fr^jus, but he approached 
him, grumbling, and throwing round him glances which 
appeared to say that he was there ready to protect his 
Majesty from all danger. 

The Eegent exchanged glances with D'Artagnan and Lafare ; 
everything went well. 

The chest was emptied — and, after having allowed the King 
to enjoy for an instant the sight of all his treasures — the 
Eegent approached him and, still hat in hand, recalled to his 
mind the promise he had made to devote an hour to the 
consideration of State affairs. 

Louis XV., with that scrupulousness which afterwards led 
him to declare that punctuality was the politeness of kings, 
threw a last glance over his toys ; and then merely asking 
permission to have them removed to his apartments, advanced 
towards the little study, and the Eegent opened the door. 
Then, according to their different characters. Monsieur de 
Fleury, under pretext of his dislike of politics, drew back, 
and sat down in a corner, while the marshal darted forwards, 
and, seeing the King enter the study, tried to follow him. 
This was the moment that the Eegent had impatiently 
expected. 

" Pardon, marshal," said he, barring the passage ; " but I 
wish to speak to his Majesty on affairs which demand the 
most absolute secrecy, and therefore I beg for a short t6te-4 
t6te." 

" T6te-i-t6te I " cried Villeroy; "you know, monseigneur, 
that it is impossible." 

" And why impossible ? " asked the Eegent, calmly. 

" Because, as governor to his Majesty, I have the right of 
accompanying him everywhere." 

" In the first place, monsieur," replied the Eegent, " this 
right does not appear to me to rest on any very positive proof, 
and if I have till now tolerated — not this right, but this pre- 
tension — it is because the age of the King has hitherto ren- 



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276 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

dered it unimportant ; but now that his Majesty has nearly 
completed his tenth year and that I am permitted to commence 
instructing him on the science of government, in which I am 
his appointed preceptor, you will see that it is quite right that 
I, as well as Monsieur de Fr^jus and yourself, should be 
allowed some hours of t@te*4-t§te with his Majesty. This 
will be less painful to you to grant, marshal,'^ added the 
Eegent, with a smile, the expression of which it was impos- 
sible to mistake, '^ because, having studied these matters so 
much yourself, it is impossible that you can have anything 
left to learn." 

" But, monsieur," said the marshal, as usual forgetting his 
politeness as he became warm, << I beg to remind you that the 
King is my pupil." 

"I know it, monsieur," said the Regent, in the same tone; 
^^ make of his Majesty a great captain, I do not wish to pre- 
vent you. Your campaigns in Italy and Flanders prove that 
he could not have a better master ; but, at this moment, it is 
not a question of military science, but of a State secret, which 
can only be confided to his Majesty ; therefore again I beg to 
speak to the King in private." 

<' Impossible, monseigneur ! " cried the marshal. 

" Impossible ! " replied the Regent ; " and why ? " 

« Why ? " continued the marshal ; " because my duty is not 
to lose sight of the King for a moment, and because I will not 
permit it." 

"Take care, marshal," interrupted the Due d'Orleans, 
haughtily, "you are forgetting your proper respect towards 
me." 

" Monseigneur," continued the marshal, becoming more and 
more angry, " I know the respect which I owe to your Royal 
Highness, and I also know 'what I owe to my charge, and to 
the King, and for that reason I will not lose sight of his 
Majesty for an instant, inasmuch as " — 

The duke hesitated. 

" Well, finish," said the Regent. 

" Inasmuch as I answer for his person," said the marshal. 

At this want of all restraint there was a moment's silence, 
during which nothing was heard but the grumblings of the 
marshal and the stifled sighs of Monsieur de Fleury. 

As to the Due d'Orleans, he raised his head with a sovereign 
air of contempt, and taking that air of dignity which made 



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trapped! 277 

him, when he chose, one of the most imposing princes in the 
world : 

" Monsieur de Villeroy," said he, " you mistake me strangely, 
it appears, and imagine that you are speaking to some one else ; 
but since you forget whom I am, I must endeavor to remind 
you. Marquis de Lafare," continued he, addressing his 
captain of the guards, " do your duty." 

Then the Marshal de Villeroy, seeing on what a precipice 
he stood, opened his mouth to attempt an excuse, but the 
Regent left him no time to finish his sentence, and shut the 
door in his face. 

The Marquis de Lafare instantly approached the marshal 
and demanded his sword. The marshal remained for an 
instant as if thunderstruck. He had for so long a time been 
left undisturbed in his impertinence that he had begun to 
think himself invincible. He tried to speak but his voice 
failed him, and on the second and still more imperative 
demand he gave up his sword. At the same moment a door 
opens and a chair appears ; two musketeers push the marshal 
into it — it is closed. D'Artagnan and Lafare place them- 
selves at each side, and the prisoner is carried off through the 
gardens. The Light Horse follow, and at a considerable and 
increasing speed they descend the staircase, turn to the left 
and enter the orangery. There the suite remain, and the 
chair, its porters, and tenant enter a second room, accompanied 
only by Lafare and D'Artagnan. The marshal, who had never 
been remarkable for sang-froid, thought himself lost. 

" Gentlemen,' cried he, turning pale, while perspiration and 
powder ran down his face, " I hope I am not going to be 
assassinated ! " 

"No, no, make yourself easy," said Lafare, while D'Ar- 
tagnan could not help laughing at his ridiculous figure, " some- 
thing much more simple, and infinitely less tragic." 

" What is it, then ? " asked the marshal, whom this assur- 
ance rendered a little more easy. 

" There are two letters, monsieur, which you were to have 
given to the King this morning and which you must have in 
one of your pockets." 

The marshal, who, till that moment, in his anxiety about 
himself had forgotten Madame du Maine's affairs, started, and 
raised his hands to the pocket where the letters were. 

" Your pardon," said D'Artagnan, stopping his hand, " but 



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278 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

we are authorized to inform you — in case you should feel 
inclined to remove these letters — that the Eegent has copies 
of them." 

" I may add," said Lafare, " that we are authorized to take 
them by force, and are absolved in advance from all accidents 
that may happen in such a struggle." 

" And you assure me," said the marshal, " that the Regent 
has copies of these letters ? " 

" On my word of honor," said D'Artagnan. 

" In this case," replied Villeroy, " I do not see why I should 
prevent you from taking these letters, which do not regard me 
in the least and which I undertook to deliver to oblige 
others." 

" We know it," said Lafare. 

" But," added the marshal, " I hope you will inform his 
Royal Highness of the ease with which I submitted to his 
orders, and of my regret for having offended him." 

''Do not doubt it; all will be reported as it has passed. 
But these letters ? " 

"Here they are, monsieur," said the marshal, giving two 
letters to Lafare. 

Lafare assured himself by the seals that they were really 
the letters he was in search of. " My dear D'Artagnan," said 
he, "now conduct the marshal to his destination, and give 
orders, in the name of the Regent, that he is to be treated 
with every respect." 

The chair was closed and the porters carried it off. At the 
gate of the gardens a carriage with six horses was waiting, in 
which they placed the marshal, who now began to suspect the 
trap which had been laid for him. D'Artagnan seated himself 
by him, an officer of musketeers and Du Libois, one of the 
King's gentlemen, opposite; and with twenty musketeers at 
each side, and twelve following, the carriage set off at a gallop. 
Meanwhile, the Marquis of Lafare returned to the chateau 
with the two letters in his hand. 



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THE BEGINNING OF THE END. 279 

CHAPTEE XXXV. 

THE BEGINNING OF THE END. 

On the same day, about two o'clock in the afternoon, while 
D'Harmental, profiting by Buvat's absence, was repeating to 
Bathilde for the thousandth time that he loved her, Nanette 
entered and announced that some one was waiting in his own 
room on important business. D'Harmental, anxious to know 
who this inopportune visitor could be, went to the window and 
saw the Abb^ Brigand walking up and down his room. 
D'Harmental instantly took leave of Bathilde and went up to 
his own apartments. 

" Well," said the abb^, " while you are quietly making love 
to your neighbor fine things are happening." 

« What things ? " asked D'Harmental. 

"Do you not know ? " 

" I know absolutely nothing except that — unless what you 
have to tell me is of the greatest importance — I should like 
to strangle you for having disturbed me ; so take care, and if 
you have not any news worthy of the occasion invent some." 

" Unfortunately," replied the abb^, " the reality leaves little 
to the imagination." 

"Indeed, my dear abb^," said D'Harmental, "you look in a 
terrible fright. What has happened ? Tell me." 

" Oh, only that we have been betrayed by some one. That 
the Marshal de Villeroy was arrested this morning at Ver- 
sailles, and that the two letters from Philip V. are in the 
hands of the Regent." 

D'Harmental perfectly understood the gravity of the situa- 
tion, but his face exhibited the calmness which was habitual 
to him in moments of danger. 

" Is that all ? " he asked, quietly. 

" All for the present ; and if you don't think it enough you 
are difficult to satisfy." 

" My dear abb^," said D'Harmental, " when we entered on 
this conspiracy it was with almost equal chances of success 
and failure. Yesterday our chances were ninety to a hundred ; 
to-day they are only thirty ; that is all." 

" I am glad to see that you do not easily allow yourself to 
be discouraged," said Brigand. 



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280 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

" My dear abM," said D'Harmental, " at this moment I am 
a happy man, and I see everything on the bright side. If you 
had taken me in a moment of sadness it would have been 
quite the reverse, and I should have replied ' Amen ' to your 
^ De Profundis.^ ^^ 

" And your opinion ? '^ 

<^Is that the game is becoming perplexed but is not yet 
lost. The Marshal de Villeroy is not of the conspiracy, does 
not even know the names of the conspirators. Philip V.'s 
letters — as far as I remember them — do not name anybody ; 
and the only person really compromised is the Prince de 
Cellamare. The inviolability of his character protects him 
from any real danger. Besides, if our plan has reached the 
Cardinal Alberoni, Monsieur de Saint-Aignan must serve as 
hostage." 

" There is truth in what you say." 

*' And from whom have you this news ? " asked the 
chevalier. 

" From Valef , who had it from Madame du Maine ; who, 
on receipt of the news, went to the Prince of Cellamare 
himself." 

« We must see Valef." 

'^ I have appointed him to meet me here, and on my way I 
stopped at the Marquis de Pompadour's. I am astonished tMt 
he is not here before me." 

" Eaoul," said a voice on the staircase. 

"Stay, it is he," cried D'Harmental, running to the door 
and opening it. 

" Thank you," said Valef, " for your assistance, which is 
very seasonable, for I was just going away, convinced that 
Brigand inust have made a mistake, and that no Christian 
could live at such a height, and in such a pigeon-hole. I 
must certainly bring Madame du Maine here that she may 
know what she owes you." 

" God grant," said the Abb^ Brigand, " that we may not all 
be worse lodged a few days hence ! " 

" Ah ! you mean the Bastile ! It is impossible, abb^ ; but 
at least one does not go to the Bastile of one's own accord ; 
moreover, it is a royal lodging, which raises it a little, and 
makes it a place where a gentleman may live without degra- 
dation ; but a place like this — fie, abb^ ! " 

" If you knew what I have found here," said I^Harmental, 



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THE BEGINNING OF THE END, 281 

a little piqued, '^you would be as unwilling to leave it as I 
am." 

" Ah, some little bourgeoise ; some Madame Michelin, per- 
haps. Take care, D'Harmental ; these things are only allowed 
to Richelieu. With you and me, who are perhaps worth as 
much as he is, but are unfortunately not quite so much in 
fashion, it will not do." 

" Well," said the Abb^ Brigand, " although your conversa- 
tion is somewhat frivolous I hear it with pleasure, since it 
assures me that our afEairs are not so bad as I thought." 

" On the contrary, the conspiracy is gone to the devil." 

" How so ? " 

" I scarcely thought they would leave me time to bring you 
the news." 

"Were you nearly arrested then, Valef ?" asked D'Har- 
mental. 

" I only escaped by a hair's breadth." 

" How did it happen, baron ? " 

" You remember, abb^, that I left you to go to the Prince de 
Cellamare ? " 

" Yes." 

" Well, I was there when they came to seize his papers." 

" Have they seized the prince's papers ? " 

" All except what we burnt, which unfortunately were the 
smaller number." 

" Then we are all lost," said the abb^. 

" Why, my dear abb^, how you throw the helve after the 
hatchet I " 

" But, Valef, you have not told us how it happened," said 
D'Harmental. 

" My dear chevalier, imj^ine the most ridiculous thing in 
the world. I wish you had been there; we should have 
laughed fit to kill ourselves. It would have enraged that 
fellow Dubois." 

" What ! was Dubois himself at the ambassador's ? " 

" In person, abbe. Imagine the Prince de Cellamare and I 
quietly sitting by the corner of the fire, taking out letters 
from a little casket, and burning those which seemed to 
deserve the honors of an auto-dorfe, when all at once his valet- 
de^hambre enters, and announces that the hotel of the embassy 
is invested by a body of musketeers, and that Dubois and 
Leblanc wish to speak to him. The object of this visit is not 



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282 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

difficult to gaess. The prince — without taking the trouble to 
choose — empties the caskets into the fire, pushes me into the 
dressing-closet, and orders that they shall be' admitted. The 
order was useless. Dubois and Leblanc were at the door. 
Fortunately, neither one nor the oth^r had seen me." 

" Well, I see nothing droll as yet," said Brigand. 

" This is just where it begins," replied Valef . " Remember 
that I was in the closet, seeing and hearing everything. 
Dubois entered, and stretching out his weasel's head to watch 
the Prince de Cellamare, who, wrapped in his dressing-gown, 
stood before the fire to give the papers time to bum. 

"'Monsieur,' said the prince, in that phlegmatic manner 
you know he has, *may I know to what event I owe the 
honor of this visit ? ' 

" ' Oh, mon Dieu, monseigneur ! ' said Dubois, ' to a very 
simple thing — a desire which Monsieur Leblanc and I had to 
learn a little of your papers, of which,' added he, showing 
the letters of Philip V., ' these two patterns have given us a 
foretaste.' " 

" How ! " said Brigand, " these letters seized at ten o'clock 
at Versailles are in Dubois' hands at one o'clock ! " 

" As you say, abb^. You see that they traveled faster than 
if they had been put in the post." 

" And what did the prince say then ? " asked D'Harmental. 

" Oh ! the prince wished to carry it off with a high hand, by 
appealing to his rights as an envoy ; but Dubois, who is not 
wanting in a certain logic, showed him that he had himself 
somewhat violated these rights by covering the conspiracy 
with his ambassador's cloak. In short, as he was the weakest, 
he was obliged to submit to what he could not prevent. 
Besides, Leblanc, without asking permission, had already 
opened the desk and examined its contents, while Dubois 
drew out the drawers of a bureau and rummaged in them. 
All at once Cellamare left his place, and stopping Leblanc, 
who had just taken a packet of papers tied with red ribbon, — 

" < Pardon, monsieur,' said he, ' to each one his prerogatives. 
These are ladies' letters.' 

" < Thanks for your confidence,' said Dubois, not in the 
least disconcerted, but rising and taking the papers from the 
hand of Leblanc, * I am accustomed to these sort of secrets, 
and yours shall be well kept.' 

" At this moment, looking towards the fire, he saw — in the 



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THE BEGINNING OF THE END. 283 

midst of the burnt letters — a paper still untouched, and dart- 
ing towards it he seized it just as the flames were reaching it. 
The movement was so rapid that the ambassador could not 
prevent it, and the paper was in Dubois' hands. 

" ' Peste ! ' said the prince, seeing Dubois shaking his 
fingers, * I knew that the Regent had skilful spies, but I did 
not know that they were brave enough to go in the fire.' 

" ^Mafoi I prince,' said Dubois, unfolding the paper, ' they 
are well rewarded for their bravery, see.' 

" The prince cast his eyes over the paper ; I do not know 
what it contained, but I know that the prince turned pale as 
death ; and that, as Dubois burst out laughing, Cellamare 
broke in pieces a little marble statue which was near his 
hand. 

" ' I am glad it was not I,' said Dubois, coldly, and putting 
the paper in his pocket. 

" ' Every one in turn, monsieur ; heaven is just ! ' said the 
ambassador. 

"< Meanwhile,' said Dubois, 'as we have got what we 
wanted, and have not much time to lose to-day, we will set 
about affixing the seals.' 

<< < The seals here ! ' cried the ambassador, exasperated. 

" ' With your permission,' replied Dubois ; ' proceed. Mon- 
sieur Leblanc' 

"Leblanc drew out from a bag bands and wax, all ready 
prepared. They began operations with the desk and the 
bureau, then they advanced towards the door of my closet. 

^ ' No,' cried the prince, * I will not permit ' — 

" ' Gentlemen,' said Dubois, opening the door, and introduc- 
ing into the room two officers of musketeers, ' the ambassador 
of Spain is accused of high treason s^ainst the State. Have 
the kindness to accompany him to the carriage which is wait- 
ing, and take him — you know where ; if he resists, call eight 
men, and take him by force.' " 

" Well, and what did the prince do then ? " asked Bngaud. 

" What you would have done in his place, I presume, my 
dear abb^. He followed the two officers, and five minutes 
afterwards your humble servant found himself under seal." 

" How the devil did you get out ? " cried D'Harmental. 

"That is the beauty of it. Hardly was the prince gone 
when Dubois called the valet-de-chambre, 

" ' What are you called ? ' asked Dubois. 



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284 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

" < Lapierre, at your service, monseigneur.' 

" ^ My dear Leblane/ said Dubois, ' explain, if you please, to 
Monsieur Lapierre, what are the penalties for breaking seals.' 

" ' The galleys,' replied Leblanc. 

" ' My dear Monsieur Lapierre,' continued Dubois, in a mild 
tone, 'you hear. If you like to spend a few years rowing on 
one of his Majesty's vessels touch one of these seals and the 
affair is done. If, on the contrary, a hundred louis are agree- 
able to you, keep them faithfully, and in three days the money 
shall be given you.' 

" * I prefer the hundred louis,' said the scoundrel. 

" < Well, then, sign this paper. We constitute you guardian 
of the prince's cabinet' 

" ' I am at your orders, monseigneur,' replied Lapierre, and 
he signed. 

" ' Now,' said Dubois, ' you understand all the responsibility 
you have undertaken ? ' 

" ' Yes, monseigneur.' 

« ' And submit to it ? ' 

«ado.' 

" ' Now, Leblanc,' said Dubois, ' we have nothing further 
to do here, and,' added he, showing the paper which he had 
snatched from the fire, ' I have all I wanted.' 

" And at these words he left, followed by Leblanc. 

'^ Lapierre, as soon as he had seen them off, ran to the 
cabinet, and exclaimed, < Quick, baron, we must profit by our 
being aJone for you to leave.' 

" ' Did you know I was here, then, fellow ? ' 

" ' Pardieu ! I should not have accepted the office of guar- 
dian if I had not. I saw you go in and I thought you would 
not like to stay there for three days.' 

"'And you were right; a hundred louis for your good 
idea.' 

" ' Mon Dieu / what are you doing ? ' cried Lapierre. 

" ' I am trying to get out.' 

" ' Oh, not by the door ! You would not send a poor 
fellow to the galleys ; besides, they have taken the key with 
them.' 

" ' And where am I to get out, then ? ' 

" ' Raise your head.' 

" ' It is raised.' 

" ' Look in the air.' 



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THE BEGINNING OF THE END. 286 

" ' I am looking.' 

" ' To your right. Do you not see anything ? ' 

" ' Yes, a little window.' 

" ' Well, get on a chair, on anything you find ; it opens into 
the alcove. Let yourself slip now ; you will fall on the bed 
— that is it. You have not hurt yourself, monsieur ? ' 

""'No, I hope the prince will have as comfortable a bed 
where they are taking him.' 

" ' And I hope monsieur'will not forget the service I have 
rendered him.' 

" < Oh, the hundred louis ? Well, as I do not want to part 
with money at this moment, take this ring, it is worth three 
hundred pistoles — you gain six hundred francs on the bar- 
gain.' 

" ' Monsieur is the most generous gentleman I know.' 

" ' Now tell me how I must go.' 

"'By this little staircase; you will find yourself in the 
pantry ; you must then go through the kitchen into the garden, 
and go out by the little door.' 

" ' Thanks for the itinerary.' 

" I followed the instructions of Monsieur Lapierre exactly, 
and here I am." 

" And the prince ; where is he ? " asked the chevalier. 

" How do I know ? In prison probably." 

^'Diablef diahlel rfio^^e /" said Brigand. 

" Well, what do you say to my Odyssey, abb^ ? " 

" I say that it would be very droll if it was not for that 
cursed paper which Dubois picked out of the cinders." 

" Yes," said Valef, « that spoils it." 

" And you have not any idea what it could be ? " 

"Not the least; but never mind, it is not lost, we shall 
know some day." 

At this moment they heard some one coming up the stair- 
case. The door opened and Boniface appeared. 

" Pardon, Monsieur Raoul," said he, " but it is not you I 
seek ; it is Father Brigand." 

" Never mind, my dear Boniface, you are welcome. Baron, 
allow me to present you to my predecessor in my room. 
The son of our worthy landlady and godson of the Abb^ 
Brigand." 

" Oh, you have friends barons, Monsieur Baoul I what an 
honor for our house ! " 



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286 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

*< Well," said the abb^, " you were looking for me you said. 
What do you want ? " 

" I want nothing. It was my mother who sent for you." 

" What does she want ? Do you know ? " 

" She wants to know why the Parliament is to assemble 
to-morrow." 

"The Parliament assemble to-morrow!" cried Valef and 
lyHarmental together. 

" And how did your mother know ? " 

« I told her." 

"And how did you know ? " 

" At the office. Maitre Joulu was with the president when 
the order arrived." 

" Well, tell your mother I will come to her directly." 

" She will expect you. Adieu, Monsieur Raoul." 

And Monsieur Boniface went out, far from suspecting the 
effect he had produced on his listeners. 

" It is some coup-d'etat which is preparing," murmured 
D'Harmental. 

" I will go to Madame du Maine to warn her," said Valef. 

" And I to Pompadour for news," said Brigand. 

" And I," said. D'Harmental, " remain here ; if I am 
wanted, abb^, you know where I am." 

" But if you were not at home, chevalier ? " 

" Oh ! I should not be far off. Open the window, clap 
your hands, and I should come." 

Valef and Brigaud went away together, and D'Harmental 
went back to Bathilde, whom he found very uneasy. It was 
five o'clock in the afternoon, and Buvat had not returned — 
it was the first time such a thing had ever happened. 



CHAPTER XXXVI. 

PABLIAMENTABY JUSTICE. 

The following day, about seven o'clock in the morning, 
Brigaud came to fetch D'Harmental, and found the young 
man ready and waiting. They both wrapped themselves in 
their cloaks, drew down their hats over their eyes, and pro- 
ceeded through the Rue de Cl^ry, the Place des Victoires, and 
the Garden of the Palais Royal. 



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PA RLIA MENTARY JUSTICE. 287 

On reaching the Rue de PEchelle they began to perceive 
an unusual stir. All the avenues leading towards the Tuil- 
eries were guarded by detachments of musketeers and light 
horse, and the people, expelled from the court and gardens 
of the Tuileries, crowded into the Place du Carousel. 
D'Harmental and Brigand mixed with the mob. 

Having arrived at the place where the triumphal arch now 
stands, they were accosted by an officer of Gray Musketeers, 
wrapped in a large cloak like themselves. It was Valef . 

" Well, baron," asked Brigand, " what news ? " 

" Ah ! it is you, abb^," said Valef ; " we have been looking 
for you, Laval, Malezieux, and myself. I have just left them ; 
they must be somewhere near. Let us stop here; it will 
not be long before they find us. Do you know anything 
yourself ? " 

" No, nothing, I called at Malezieux's, but he had already 
gone out." 

"Say that he was not yet come home. We remained at 
the arsenal all night." 

"And no hostile demonstration has been made?" asked 
D'Harmental. 

"None. Monsieur le Due du Maine and Monsieur le 
Comte de Toulouse were summoned for the Regent's council, 
which is to be held before the sitting of the Parliament. At 
half-past six they were both at the Tuileries, so Madame du 
Maine, in order to get the news as soon as possible, has come 
and installed herself in her superintendent's apartments." 

"Is it known wliat has become of the Prince de Cella- 
mare ? " asked D'Harmental. 

" He is sent to Orleans, in a chaise and four, in the com- 
pany of a gentlemati of the King's household and an escort of 
a dozen light horse." 

"And is nothing known about the paper which Dubois 
picked out of the cinders ? " asked Brigand. 

" Nothing." 

" What does Madame du Maine think ? " 

" That he is brewing something against the legitimated 
princes, and that he will profit by this to take away some 
more of their privileges. This morning she lectured her 
husband sharply and he promised to remain firm, but she does 
not rely upon him." 

" And Monsieur de Toulouse ? " 



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288 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

<^We saw him yesterday evening, but you know, my dear 
abb^, there is nothing to be done with his modesty, or rather 
his humility. He always thinks that they have done too 
much for him, and is ready to abandon to the Eegent any- 
thing that is asked of him." 

« By the by, the King ? '* 

"Well, the King"— 

" Yes, how has he taken the arrest of his tutor ? " 

" Ah ! do you not know ? It seems that there was a com- 
pact between the marshal and Monsieur de Fr^jus that if one 
of them left his Majesty the other should leave immediately 
— yesterday morning Monsieur de Fr^jus disappeared." 

" And where is he ? " 

" God knows ! And so the King, who had taken the loss of 
his marshal very well, was inconsolable at that of his bishop." 

" And how do you know all that ? " 

" Through the Due de Richelieu, who went yesterday, about 
two o'clock to Versailles, to pay his respects to the King, and 
who found his Majesty in despair in the midst of the china 
and ornaments which he had broken. Unfortunately, Riche- 
lieu, instead of encouraging the King's grief, made him laugh 
by telling him a hundred storieS) and almost consoled him by 
helping him to break the rest of the china and ornaments." 

At this moment an individual clothed in a long advocate's 
robe, and with a square cap, passed near the group which was 
formed by Brigand, IVHarmental, and Valef, humming the 
burden of a song made on the marshal after the battle oi 
Ramillies. Brigand turned round and, under the disguise, 
thought he recognized Pompadour. On his part the advocate 
stopped, and approached the group in question. The abb^ had 
no longer any doubt. It was really the marquis. 

"Well, Maitre Clement," said he, "what news from the 
palace ? " 

" Oh ! " answered Pompadour, " good news, particularly if it 
be true ; they say that the Parliament refuses to come to the 
Tuileries." 

" Vive Dleu ! " cried Valef, " that will reconcile me with the 
red robes. But they will not dare." 

" Why not ? You know that Monsieur de Mesme is for us, 
and has been named president through the influence of Mon- 
sieur du Maine." 

"Yes, that is true, but that is long since," said Brigand; 



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PARLIAMENTARY JUSTICE. 289 

« and if you have nothing better uo rely upon, Maltre Clement, 
I should advise you not to count upon him.'' 

"Particularly," ansvrered Valef, "as he has just obtained 
from the Begent the payment of iive hundred thousand francs 
of his salary." 

" Oh, oh ! " said D'Harmental, " see, it appears to me that 
something new is going on. Are they not coming out of the 
Regent's council ? " 

Indeed, a great movment was taking place in the court of 
the Tuileries, and the two carriages of the Due du Maine and 
the Comte de Toulouse left their post and approached the 
clock pavilion. At the same instant they saw the two brothers 
appear. They exchanged few words, each got into his own 
carriage, and the two vehicles departed at a rapid pace by the 
waterside wicket. 

For ten minutes Brigand, D'Harmental, Pompadour, and 
Valef were lost in conjectures regarding this event which, 
having been remarked by others as well as by them, had made 
a sensation amongst the crowd, but without being able to assign 
it to its proper cause. Then they noticed Malezieux, who 
appeared to be looking for them : they went to him, and by his 
discomposed face they judged that the information which he 
had to bring was not comforting. 

" Well," asked Pompadour, " have you any idea of what 
has been going on ? " 

" Alas I " answered Malezieux, '' I am afraid that all is lost." 

"You know that the Due du Maine and the Comte de 
Toulouse have left the council ? " asked Valef. 

" I was on the quay when he passed in his carris^e, and he 
recognized me, and stopped the carriage^ and sent m^ this 
little pencil note by his valet-de-chambre" 

" Let us see," said Brigand, and he read : 

" I do not know what is plotting against us, but the Regent 
invited us — Toulouse and me — to leave the council. That 
invitation appeared to me an order, and, as all resistance would 
have been useless, seeing that we have in the council only 
four or five voices, upon which we can not count, I was obliged 
to obey. Try and see the duchess, who must be at the Tuil- 
eries, and tell her that I am retiring to Rambouillet, where I 
shall wait for the turn of events. 

" Your affectionate, 

"Louis AUGUSTB." 



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290 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

« The coward," said Valef . 

^^And these are the men for whom we risk our heads/' 
murmured Pompadour. 

'' You are mistaken, my dear marquis," said Brigand, *^ we 
risk our heads on our own account I hope, and not for others. 
Is not that true, chevalier? Well, what the devil are you 
about now ? " 

"Wait, abW," answered D'Harmental; "I seem to recog- 
nize — yes, by heaven, it is he ! You will not go away from 
this place, gentlemen I " 

"No, I answer for myself at least," said Pompadour. 

"Nor I," said Valef. 

" Nor I," said Malezieux. 

*^NorI," said the abb^. 

" Well, then, I will rejoin you in an instant." 

" Where are you going ? " asked Brigand. 

"Do not look, abb^," said D'Harmental, "it is on private 
business." 

Dropping Valef s arm, D'Harmental began to traverse the 
crowd in the direction of an individual whom he had been 
following with his eyes for some time, and who, thanks to his 
personal strength, had approached the gate. 

" Captain," said the chevalier, tapping Roquefinette on the 
shoulder, and hoping that, thanks to the movement occasioned 
by the approach of the Parliament, they should be able to 
talk without being observed, " can I say a few words to you 
in private ? " 

"Yes, chevalier, with the greatest pleasure. What is 
it?" continued he, drawing back. "I have recognized you 
for the last five minutes, but it was not my business to speak 
first." 

" And I see with pleasure," said D'Harmental, " that Cap- 
tain Roquefinette is still prudent." 

" Prudentissimo, chevalier ; so if you have any new over- 
ture to make, out with it." 

"No, captain, no; not at present, at least. Besides, the 
place is not suitable for a conference of that nature. Only I 
wish to know, in case of my having need of you, whether you 
still live in the same place ? " 

" Still, chevalier ; I am like a briar — I die where I grow ; 
only, instead of your finding me, as you did the first time, on 
the first or second floor, you will have to look for me on the 



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PARLIAMENTARY JUSTICE. 291 

fifth or sixth, seeing that, by a very natural see-saw movement, 
as my funds lower I go up/' 

" How, captain," said D'Harmental, laughing, and putting 
his hand in his pocket, " you are in want of money, and you 
do not address yourself to your friends ? " 

" I borrow money ! " cried the captain, stopping D'Har- 
mentaPs liberal intentions with a sign ; " no ; when I do you 
a service you make me a present ; well and good. When I 
conclude a bargain you execute the conditions. But I to ask 
without having a right to ask ! It may do for a church rat, 
but not for a soldier ; although I am only a simple gentleman, 
I am as proud as a duke or a peer; but, pardon me, if you 
want me, you know where to find me. Au revoir, chevalier ! 
au revoir / " 

And, without waiting for D'Harmental's answer, Eoque- 
finette left him, not thinking it safe that they should be seen 
talking together. 

As it was only eleven o'clock in the morning, however, and 
as in all probability the Parliament would not break up till 
four in l3ie afternoon, and as, no doubt, there was nothing 
determined on yet, the chevalier thought that, instead of 
remaining on the Place du Carousel, he would do better to 
turn the four hours which he had before him to the profit of 
his love. Moreover, the nearer he approached to the catas- 
trophe the more need he felt of seeing Bathilde. Bathilde 
had become one of the elements of his life ; one of the organs 
necessary to his existence ; and, at the moment when he might 
perhaps be separated from her forever, he did not understand 
how he could live a single day away from her. Consequently, 
pressed by the eternal craving for the presence of the loved 
object, the chevalier, instead of going to look for his compan- 
ions, went towards the Rue du Temps-Perdu. 

D'Harmental found the poor child very uneasy. Buvat 
had not come home since half -past nine the morning before. 
Nanette had been to inquire at the library, and to her great 
astonishment, and the scandal of his fellow-clerks, she had 
learned that he had not been there for five or six days. Such 
a derangement in Buvat's habits indicated serious events. On 
the other hand, the young girl had noticed in Raoul the day 
before a sort of nervous agitation, which, although kept down 
by determination, gave warning of an important crisis. Thus, 
joining her old fears to her new agonies, Bathilde felt instinc- 



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292 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

tively that a misfortune, invisible but inevitable, hung above 
her, and that at any moment it might fall on her devoted 
head. 

But when Bathilde saw Raoul all fear, past or future, was 
lost in the happiness of the present. On his part, Eaoul, 
whether it was self-command, or a similar feeling to her own, 
thought of nothing but Bathilde. Nevertheless, this time the 
pre-occupations on both sides were so powerful that Bathilde 
could not help expressing her uneasiness to Raoul ; he made 
but little answer, for the absence of Buvat became connected 
in his mind with some suspicions which he had entertained 
for a minute, and then cast from him. The time, neverthe- 
less, flowed away with its accustomed rapidity, and four 
o'clock struck, when the lovers fancied that they had only 
been together a few minutes. It was the hour at which he 
generally took his leave. 

If Buvat returned, he would probably return at this time. 
After exchanging a hundred vows, the two young people 
separated, agreeing that if anything new happened to either 
of them, whatever hour of the day or night it might be, they 
should let the other know directly. 

At the door of Madame Denis' house D'Harmental met 
Brigand. The sitting was over, and nothing positive was yet 
known, but vague rumors were afloat that terrible measures 
had been taken. The information must soon arrive, and 
Brigand had fixed a rendezvous with Pompadour and Male- 
zieux at D'Harmental's lodgings, which, as they were the 
least known, must be the least watched. 

In about an hour the Marquis de Pompadour arrived. The 
Parliament had at first wished to make opposition, but every- 
thing had given way before the will of the Regent. The King 
of Spain's letters had been read and condemned. It had 
been decided that the dukes and peers should rank immedi- 
ately after the princes of the blood. The honors of the 
legitimated princes were restricted to the simple rank of their 
peerages. Finally, the Due du Maine lost the superinten- 
dence of the King's education, which was given to the Due de 
Bourbon. The Comte de Toulouse alone was maintained, 
during his lifetime, in his privileges and prerogatives. Male- 
zieux arrived in bis turn ; he had recently left the duchess. 
They had just given her notice to quit her apartments in the 
Tuileries, which belonged henceforward to Monsieur le Due. 



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PARLIAMENTARY JUSTICE. 293 

Such an affront had, as may easily be understood, exasperated 
the granddaughter of the great Cond^. She had flown into 
a violent passion, broken all the looking-glasses with her own 
hands, and had all the furniture thrown out of the window ; 
then, this performance finished, she had got into her carriage, 
sending Laval to Rambouillet, in order to urge Monsieur du 
Maine to some vigorous action, and charging Malezieux to 
assemble all her friends that evening at the arsenal. 

Pompadour and Brigand cried out against the imprudence 
of such a meeting. Madame du Maine was evidently watched. 
To go to the arsenal the day when they must know that she 
was the most irritated would be to compromise themselves 
openly. Pompadour and Brigand were therefore in favor of 
going and begging her Highness to appoint some other time 
or place for the rendezvous. Malezieux and D'Harmental 
were of the same opinion regarding the danger of the step ; 
but they both declared — the first from devotion, the second 
from a sense of duty — that the more perilous the order was, 
the more honorable it would be to obey it. 

The discussion, as always happens in similar circumstances, 
began to degenerate into a pretty sharp altercation, when they 
heard the steps of two persons mounting the stairs. As the 
three individuals who hsui appointed a meeting at D'Harmen- 
tal's were all assembled. Brigand, who, with his ear always on 
the qui-vive, had heard the sound first, put his finger to his 
mouth, to impose silence on the disputants. They could 
plainly hear the steps approaching; then a low whispering, 
as of two people questioning; finally, the door opened, and 
gave entrance to a soldier of the French guard and a little 
grisette. 

The guardsman was the Baron de Valef. The grisette 
threw off the little black veil which hid her face and they 
recognized Madame du Maine. 



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294 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

CHAPTER XXXVII. 

MAN PBOPOSBS. 

"YouB Highness! your Highness at my lodging 1" cried 
D'Harmental. " What have I done to merit such an honor ? " 

" The hour is come, chevalier," said the duchess, " when it is 
right that we should show people the opinion we hold of their 
merits. It shall never be said that the friends of Madame du 
Maine expose themselves for her, and that she does not 
expose herself with them. Thank God, I am the grand- 
daughter of the great Cond^, and I feel that I am worthy of 
my ancestor." 

" Your Highness is most welcome," said Pompadour ; " for 
your arrival will get us out of a difficulty. Decided as we 
were to obey your orders, we nevertheless hesitated at the 
idea of the danger incurred by an assembly at the arsenal, at 
sach a moment as the present, when the police have their 
eyes upon it." 

" And I thought with you, marquis ; so, instead of waiting 
for you, I resolved to come and seek you. The baron 
accompanied me. I went to the house of the Comtesse de 
Chavigny, a friend of De Launay's, who lives in the Rue du 
Mail. We had clothes brought there ; and, as we were only 
a few steps off, we came here on foot, and here we are. On 
my honor, Messire Voyer d'Argenson would be clever, indeed, 
if he recognized us in this disguise." 

" I see, with pleasure," said Malezieux, " that your High- 
ness is not cast down by the events of this horrible day." 

" Cast down ! I ! Malezieux, I hope you know me too well 
to have feared it for a single instant. Cast down ! On the 
contrary, I never felt more vigor, or more determination. Oh, 
if I only were a man ! " 

"Let your Highness command," said D'Harmental, "and 
everything that you could do if you could act yourself we 
will do — we, who stand in your stead." 

"No, no; it is impossible that any other should do that 
which I should have done." 

" Nothing is impossible, madame, to five men as devoted as 
we are. Moreover, our interest demands a prompt and ener- 
getic course of action. It is not reasonable to believe that the 



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MAN PROPOSES. 295 

Regent will stop there. The day after to-morrow — to-morrow 
evening perhaps — we shall all be arrested. Dubois gives 
out that the paper which he saved from the flames at the 
Prince of Cellamare's is nothing less than the list of the con- 
spirators. In that case, he knows all our names. We have, 
then, at this very moment, a sword hanging over each of our 
heads ; do not let us wait tamely till the thread which sus- 
pends it snaps ; let us seize it, and strike ! " 

"Strike! What — where — and how?" asked Brigand. 
"That abominable Parliament has destroyed all our schemes.' 
Have we measures taken, or a plot made out?" 

"The best plan which has been conceived," said Pompa- 
dour, " and the one which offered the greatest chance of suc- 
cess, was the first; and the proof is, that it was only over- 
thrown by an unheard-of circumstance." 

" Well, if the plan was good then, it is so still," said Valef ; 
" let us return to it ! " 

" Yes, but in failing," said Malezieux, " this plan put the 
Regent on his guard." 

"On the contrary," said Pompadour, "in consequence of 
that very failure it will be supposed that we have abandoned 
it." 

" And the proof is," said Valef, " that the Regent, on this 
head, takes fewer precautions than ever. Por example — 
since his daughter. Mademoiselle de Ohartres, has become 
Abbess of Chelles, he goes to see her every week, and he goes 
through the wood of Vincennes without guards, and with only 
a coachman and two lackeys, and that at eight or nine o'clock 
at night." 

"And what day does he pay this visit ? " asked Brigand. 

" Wednesday." 

" That is to-morrow," said the duchess. 

"Brigand," said Valef, "have you still the passport for 
Spain ? " 

" Yes." 

" And the same facilities for the route ? " 

" The same. The postmaster is with us, and we shall have 
only to explain to him." 

" Well," said Valef, " if her Royal Highness will allow me, 
I will to-morrow call together seven or eight friends, wait for 
the Regent in the Bois de Vincennes, carry him off, and in 
three days I am at Pampeluna." 



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296 THE CHEVALIER B'HARMENTAL. 

*^An instant; my dear baron," said D'Harmental. "I 
would observe to you that you are stepping into my shoes, 
and that this undertaking belongs to me of right" 

" You, my dear chevalier I you have already done what you 
had to do ; now it is our turn." 

" Not at all, if you please, Valef . My honor is concerned 
in it, for I have revenge to take. You would annoy me 
infinitely by insisting on this subject." 

" All that I can do for you, my dear D'Harmental," said 
Valef, " is to leave it to her Highness' choice. She knows 
that we are equally devoted to her ; let her decide." 

"Will you accept my arbitration, chevalier?" said the 
duchess. 

" Yes, for I trust to your justice, madame," said D'Har- 
mental. 

"And you are right, yes, the honor of the undertaking 
belongs to you. I place in your hands the fate of the son of 
Louis the Fourteenth, and the granddaughter of the great 
Cond^. I trust entirely to your devotion and courage, and I 
have the greater hope of your success that fortune owes you 
a compensation. To you, my dear D'Harmental, all the honor 
and all the peril." 

" I accept both with gratitude," said D'Harmental, kissing 
the duchess' hand ; " and to-morrow, at this hour, I shall be 
dead, or the Regent will be on the way to Spain." 

"Very good," said Pompadour, "that is what I call speak- 
ing ; and if you want any one to give you a helping hand, my 
dear chevalier, count on me." 

" And on me," said Valef. 

" And are we good for nothing ?" said Malezieux. 

" My dear chancellor," said the duchess, " to each one his 
share. To poets, churchmen, and magistrates, advice; to 
soldiers, execution. Chevalier, are you sure of finding the 
men who assisted you before ? " 

" I am sure of their chief, at least." 

" When shall you see him ? " 

" This evening." 

"At what time?" 

" Directly, if your Highness wishes it." 

" The sooner the better." 

" In a quarter of an hour I will be ready." 

" Where can we learn the result of the interview ? " 



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MAN PROPOSES. 297 

" I will come to your Highness, wheresoever you may be." 

" "Not at the arsenal," said Brigand, " it is too dangerous." 

" Can we not wait here ? " asked the duchess. 

"Remember," said Brigand, "that my pupil is a steady 
fellow, receiving scarcely any one, and that a long visit might 
arouse suspicion." 

" Can we not fix a rendezvous where there would be no such 
fear ? " asked Pompadour. 

" Certainly," said the duchess, " at the stone in the Champs 
Elys^es, for instance. Malezieux and I will come there in a 
carriage without livery and without arms. Pompadour, Valef, 
and Brigand will meet us there, each one separately; there 
we will wait for D'Harmental, and settle the last measure." 

"That will suit well," said D'Harmental, "for my man 
lives ia the Rue Saint Honor^." 

" You know, chevalier," replied the duchess, " that you may 
promise as much money as you like." 

" I undertake to fill the purse," said Brigand. 

" That is well, abb^, for I know who will undertake to 
empty it," said D'Harmental. 

" Then all is agreed," said the duchess. " In an hour, in 
the Champs Elys^es." 

Then the duchess — having readjusted her mantle so as to 
hide her face — took Valef 's arm and went out. Malezieux 
followed at a little distance, taking care not to lose sight of 
her. Brigand and Pompadour went out together, and D'Har- 
mental went directly to the Rue Saint Honor^. 

Whether it were chance or calculation on the part of the 
duchess, who appreciated D'Harmental and understood how 
fully she might rely upon him, the chevalier found himself 
more than ever put forward in the conspiracy : but his honor 
was engaged; and although he foresaw the terrible conse- 
quences of the step which he was about to take he went 
boldly forward, resolved to sacrifice everything, even his life 
and his love, to the fulfilment of his promise. 

He presented himself at La Eillon's with the same tran- 
quillity as before, although many things were altered in his 
life since then, and having been, as before, received by the 
mistress of the house in person he inquired if Captain Roque- 
finette were visible. 

La Fillon had not expected such a visitor ; for on recogniz- 
ing D'Harmental she could not repress a movement of sur- 



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298 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL, 

prise. However, she asked if he were not the same person, 
who — two months before — had come there to inquire for the 
captain. D'Harmental replied in the affirmative. As soon 
as she was informed on this point she called a servant and 
ordered her to conduct the chevalier to No. 72. The girl 
obeyed, taking a candle, and going before D'Harmental, who 
followed her. This time, no songs guided him in his ascent ; 
all was silent in the house ; and as the chevalier himself was 
occupied with grave thoughts, he mounted the six flights and 
knocked at once at the door. 

" Enter," said Roquefinette. 

The chevalier slipped a louis into the servant's hand, 
opened the door, and went in. 

The same change was observable in the interior as in the 
exterior. Eoquefinette was no longer, as on the first occasion, 
sitting among the d^ris of a feast, surrounded by slaves, 
smoking his long pipe. He was alone, in a little dark attic, 
lighted by a single candle, which, nearly bumf out, gave more 
smoke than flame, and whose flickering light gave a strange 
expression to the harsh face of the brave captain, who was 
standing leaning against the chimney-piece. 

" Ah ! " said Roquefinette in a slightly ironical tone, " it 
is you, chevalier ; I expected you." 

" You expected me, captain ! and what induced you to do 
so?" 

" Events, chevalier ; events." 

" What do you mean ? " 

^< I mean that you thought you could make open war, and 
consequently put poor Captain Roquefinette aside, as a bandit, 
who is good for nothing but a nocturnal blow at a street 
corner, or in a wood ; and now Dubois knows all ; the Parlia- 
ment, on whom we thought we might count, have failed us, 
and has said yes, instead of no. Now we come back to the 
captain. My dear captain here ! my good captain there I Is 
not this exactly as it has happened, chevalier ? Well, here is 
the captain, what do you want of him ? Speak." 

" Really, my dear captain," said D'Harmental, not knowing 
exactly how to take this speech, " there is some truth in what 
you say. Only you are mistaken if you think we had for- 
gotten you. If our plan had succeeded you would have had 
proof that my memory was better, and I should have come to 
offer you my credit as I now come to ask your assistance." 



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MAN PROPOSES. 299 

"Hum!" said the captain; "for the last three days, since 
I have inhabited this new apartment, I have made many reflec- 
tions on the vanity of human things, and have more than once 
felt inclined to retire altogether from these affairs, or — if I 
did undertake one — to take care that it should be sufficiently 
brilliant to ensure my future." 

" What I come to propose to you is just the thing. With- 
out preamble, it is " — 

" What ? " asked the captain, after waiting two or three 
minutes in vain for the end of the speech. 

" Oh, captain, I thought" — 

" What did you think, chevalier ? " 

" I thought I heard steps — a sort of creaking in the wall." 

" Ah ! " said the captain, " there are not a few rats in this 
establishment, I can tell you." 

"Oh, that must be it I" said D'Harmental. "Well! my 
dear Roquefinette, we wish to profit by the Regent's returning 
unguarded from Chelles, to carry him off, and take him to 
Spain." 

" Before going any further," said Roquefinette, " I must 
warn you that this is a new treaty, and that every new treaty 
implies new conditions." 

" No need of discussions on that point. You shall fix them 
yourself; but can you still dispose of your men ?" 

" I can." 

^* Will they be ready at two o'clock to-morrow ? " 

" They will." 

" That is all that is necessary." 

"Something else is necessary — money to buy a horse and 
arms." 

" There are a hundred louis in that purse ; take it." 

" It is well. You shall have an account of it." 

" Then to-morrow at my house at two o'clock." 

" It is agreed, chevalier ; you are not to be astonished if I 
am a little exacting." 

" You know that last time I only complained of your being 
too modest." 

" Very well, that will do," said the captain, " you are easily 
satisfied. Let me light you ; it would be a pity that a brave 
fellow like you should break his neck." 

And the captain took the candle, which, now burnt down to 
the paper, threw a splendid light over the staircase. 



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300 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

B'Harmental had not forgotten that Madame da Maine 
waited with anxiety for the result of the interview. He did 
not trouble himself, therefore, about what had become of La 
iFillon, whom he did not see on leaving ; and having gone down 
the Bue des Feuillons, he passed along the Champs Eljsees, 
which, without being altogether deserted, was nevertheless 
almost solitary. Having arrived at the stone he noticed a car- 
riage standing on the opposite side of the road, while two 
men were walking at a little distance off in the cross-road. 
He approached the carriage; a woman, seeing him, put her 
head impatiently out of the window. The chevalier recog- 
nized Madame du Maine; Malezieux and Yalef were with 
her. As to the walkers, who, seeing D'Harmental, approached 
the vehicle, it is needless to say that they were Brigand and 
Pompadour. 

The chevalier, without naming !Roquefinette, or enlarging 
on the character of the illustrious captain, told them in a few 
words what had passed. This recital was welcomed by a 
general exclamation of joy. The duchess gave D'Harmental 
her hand to kiss ; the men pressed his. It was agreed that 
the next day at two o'clock the duchess, Pompadour, Laval, 
Valef, Malezieux, and Brigand should meet at No. 16, Fau- 
bourg Saint Antoine, a house occupied by D^Avranches' mother, 
and tiiat they should there await the event. 

The result was to be announced to them by D'Avranches 
himself, who, at three o'clock, should be at the Barri^re du 
Trone with two horses, one for himself, the other for the 
chevalier. He was to follow D'Harmental at a distance, and 
return to announce what had passed. Five other horses, sad- 
dled and bridled, were to be ready in the stables of the house 
in the Faubourg Saint Antoine, so that the conspirators might 
fly at once in case of the chevalier's failure. 

These plans settled, the duchess forced the chevalier to seat 
himself beside her. The duchess wished to drive him home, 
but he told her that the appearance of a carriage at Madame 
Denis' door would produce too much sensation, and that, flat- 
tering as it would be to him, it would be too dangerous for all. 
In consequence, the duchess set D'Harmental down in the 
Place des Victoires, after repeatedly expressing her gratitude 
for his devotion. It was ten o'clock in the evening. D'Har- 
mental had scarcely seen Bathilde during the day ; he wished 
to see her again ; he was sure to find her at her window^ but 



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MAN PROPOSES. 301 

that was not suJB&cient, for what he had to say was too serious 
to be thus spoken from one side to the other of the street. 

He was thinking under what pretext he could present him- 
self at such a late hour^ when he thought he saw a woman at 
the door of her house. He advanced and recognized Nanette, 
who was there by Bathilde's order. The poor girl was dread- 
fully uneasy, Buvat not having returned. All tie evening she 
had remained at the window to watch for D'Harmental, but 
had not seen him. It seemed to Bathilde that there must be 
some connection between Buvat's strange disappearance and 
the melancholy which she had remarked the day before in 
D'Harmental's face. Nanette was waiting at the door for 
Buvat and D'Harmental; she now waited for Buvat, and 
IVHarmental went up to Bathilde. 

Bathilde had heard and recognized his step, and ran to open 
the door. At the first glance she noticed the pensive expres- 
sion of his face. 

"Oh, Raoull" she exclaimed, "has anything happened to 
you ? " 

"Bathilde," said D'Harmental, with a melancholy smile, 
" you have often told me that there is in me something mys- 
terious which frightens you.'* 

" Yes," cried Bathilde ; " it is the only torment of my life ; 
my only fear for the future." 

" And you are right ; for before I knew you, Bathilde, I had 
abandoned a part of my free-will ; this portion of myself no 
longer belongs to me, but submits to a supreme law, and to 
unforeseen events. It is a black point in a clear sky. Accord- 
ing to the way the wind blows it may disappear as a vapor or 
increase into a storm. The hand which holds and guides mine 
may lead me to the highest favor or to the most complete 
disgrace. Tell me, Bathilde, are you disposed to share my 
good and evil fortune ; the calm and the tempest ? " 

" Everything with you, Raoul." 

" Think of what you are undertaking, Bathilde. It may be 
a happy and a brilliant life which is reserved for yon ; it may 
be exile ; it may be captivity ; it may be that you will be a 
widow before you are a wife." 

Bathilde turned so pale that Eaonl thought she would fall ; 
but she quickly regained her self-command, and, holding out 
her hand to D'Harmental : 

" Raoul," said she, " have I not already told you that I love 



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802 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

you; that I never have and never can love any other? It 
seems to me that all these promises you ask are included in 
those words ; but since you wish them renewed I do so. Your 
life shall be my life, and your death my death ; both are in 
the hands of God/' 

« And I, Bathilde," said IVHarmental, leading her before 
the crucifix, " I swear that from this moment you are my wife 
before Grod and before men ; and since the events which may 
dispose of my life leave me nothing but my love to offer to 
you, that love is yours — profound, unalterable, eternal ; " and 
the young people exchanged their first kiss with the renewal 
of their vows. 

A few moments later, when IKHarmental left Bathilde, 
Buvat had not yet returned. 



CHAPTER XXXVIII. 

DAVID AND GOLIATH. 

The next morning at ten the Abb^ Brigand entered lyilar- 
mental's room ; he brought him twenty thousand francs, partly 
in gold, partly in Spanish paper. The duchess had passed 
the night at the Comtesse de Chavigny's, in the Rue du 
Mail. The plans of the preceding day were in no degree 
changed, and they had ascertained that the Regent would pay 
his accustomed visit to Chelles. At ten o'clock Brigand and 
lyHarmental went down, Brigand to join Pompadour and 
Valef on the Boulevard du Temple, and D'Harmental to visit 
Bathilde. 

Uneasiness was at its height in the little household ; Buvat 
was still absent, and it was easy to see by Bathilde's eyes that 
she had had but little sleep. As soon as she saw D'Harmental 
she understood that some expedition was preparing. D'Har- 
mental again wore that dark costume in which she had never 
seen him but on that evening when, on returning, he had 
thrown his mantle on a chair and displayed to her sight the 
pistols in his belt. Moreover, she saw by his spurs that he 
expected to ride during the day. All these things would have 
appeared insignificant at any other time, but, after the noctur- 
nal betrothal we have described, they took a new and grave 



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DAVID AND GOLIATH. 303 

importance. Bathilde tried at first to make the chevalier 
speak, but he told her that the secret she asked did not belong 
to himself, and she desisted. An hour after, Nanette appeared, 
with a distressed face. She came from the library ; Buvat had 
not been there and no one had heard anything of him. 

Bathilde could contain herself no longer; she fell into 
!Raoul's arms and burst into tears. Then Raoul confessed to 
her his fears and that the papers which the pretended Prince 
de Listhnay had given Buvat to copy were politically impor- 
tant, by which he might have been compromised and arrested, 
but had nothing to fear, and that the passive part which he 
had played in this affair did not endanger him in the least 
Bathilde, having feared some much greater misfortune, eagerly 
seized on this idea. She did not confess to herself that the 
greater part of her uneasiness was not for Buvat, and that all 
the tears she shed were not for the absent. 

When D'Harmental was near Bathilde time appeared to 
fly ; he was astonished when he found that he had been with 
her an hour and a half, and remembering that at two o'clock 
he had to arrange his new treaty with Koquefinette, he rose 
to go. Bathilde turned pale. D'Harmental, to reassure her, 
promised to come to her again after the departure of the 
person he expected. 

The chevalier had only been a few minutes at his window 
when he saw Boqueflnette appear at the corner of the Rue 
Montmartre. He was mounted on a dapple-gray horse, both 
swift and strong, and evidently chosen by a connoisseur. He 
came along leisurely, like a man to whom it is equally indif- 
ferent whether he is seen or not. On arriving at the door he 
dismounted, fastened up his horse, and ascended the stairs. 
As on the day before his face was grave and pensive, his com- 
pressed lips indicated some fixed determination, and D'Har- 
mental received him with a smile, which met with no answer 
on the captain's face. D'Harmental at a glance took in all 
these different signs. 

" Well, captain," said he, " I see that you are still punctu- 
ality itself." 

<< It is a military habit, chevalier, and is not astonishing in 
an old soldier." 

<< I did not doubt you, but you might not have been able to 
meet your men." 

" I told you I knew where to find them.'^ 



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304 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

" And where are they ? " 

" In the horse-market at the Porte Saint Martin." 

" Are you not afraid they will be noticed ? " 

" How should twelve or fifteen men dressed as peasants be 
noticed among three hundred other peasants, buying and 
selling horses ? It is like a needle in a bottle of hay^ which 
none but myself can find." 

" But how can these men accompany you, captain ? " 

^' The simplest thing in the world. Each one has bargained 
for the horse which suits him. Each one has offered a price, to 
which the vendor replies by another. I arrive, give to each 
twenty-five or thirty louis. Every one pays for his horse, has 
it saddled, mounts, slips into the holsters the pistols which he 
has in his belt, and by a different route arrives at a given 
place in the Bois de Vincennes at four o'clock. Then only I 
explain to them for what they are wanted. I again distribute 
money, put myself at the head of my squadron and go to the 
work — supposing that you and I agree on the conditions." 

" Well, these conditions, captain," said D'Harmental, " let 
us discuss them, and I think I have arranged so that you will 
be satisfied with what I have to offer you." 

" Let us hear them," said Roquefinette, sitting down by the 
table. 

"First, double the sum you received last time," said the 
chevalier. 

" Ah ! " said Roquefinette, " I do not care for money." 

" What ! you do not care for money, captain ? " 

" Not the least in the world." 

" What do you care for, then ? " 

" A position." 

" What do you mean ? " 

"I mean, chevalier, that every day I am four-and-twenty 
hours older, and that with age comes philosophy." 

" Well, captain," said ly Harmental, beginning to be seriously 
uneasy, " what is the ambition of your philosophy ? " 

"I have told you, chevalier. A position suitable to my 
long services — not in France, you understand. In France I 
have too many enemies, beginning with the lieutenant of 
police ; but in Spain, for instance. Ah I that would suit me 
well. A fine country — beautiful women — plenty of doub- 
loons ! Decidedly, I should like a rank in Spain." 

" The thing is possible j it depends on the rank you desire." 



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DAVID AND GOLIATH. 305 

" Well, you know, chevalier, when one is wishing it is as 
well to wish for something worth the trouble." 

" You make me uneasy, monsieur,'* said D'Harmental, " for 
I have not the seals of King Philip to sign brevets in his 
name. But never mind ; speak." 

"Well," said Roquefinette, "I see so many greenhorns at 
the heads of regiments that I also have thought of being a 
colonel." 

" Colonel ? Impossible I " 

"Why so ? " 

" Because, if they make you a colonel, you who only hold a 
secondary position in the affair, what am I to ask, I who am 
at the head?" 

" That is the very thing ; I wish to change positions for the 
moment. You remember what I said to you on a certain 
evening in the Rue du Valois ? " 

" Aid my memory, captain. I have unfortunately forgotten." 

" I told you that if I had an affair like this to manage 
things would go better. I added that I would speak to you 
of it again. I do so now." 

" What the devil are you talking about, captain ? " 

"A simple matter, chevalier. We made a first attempt 
together, which failed. Then you changed batteries : you 
thought you could do without me, and you failed again. The 
first time you failed at night, and without noise ; we each went 
our own way and there was nothing known about it. The 
second time, on the contrary, you failed in broad daylight, and 
with an eclat which has compromised all ; so that if you do 
not save yourselves by a bold stroke you are all lost, as Dubois 
has your name ; and to-morrow — to-night perhaps — you may 
be all arrested, knights, barons, dukes, and princes. Now, 
there is in the world one man, and one only, who can free you 
from your troubles — that man is Captain Roquefinette, and 
you offer him the same place he held before I Fie, chevalier ! 
— you wish to bargain with him. Remember, pretensions 
increase with the services to be rendered. I am now an 
important personage. Treat me as such or I put my hands in 
my pockets and leave Dubois to do as he likes." 

D'Harmental bit his lips, but he understood that he had to 
treat with a man who was accustomed to sell his services as 
dear as possible ; and as what the captain said of their necessity 
was literally true, he restrained his impatience and his pride. 



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806 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

•' Then you wish to be a colonel ? " 

"That is my idea.'' 

"Bat suppose I make you this promise, who can answer 
that I have influence enough to ratify it ? '' 

"Oh, chevalier, I reckon on managing my little affairs 
myself." 

"Where?*' 

"At Madrid." 

" Who told you that I shall take you there ? " 

" I do not know if you will take me there but I know that 
I shall go there." 

" You, to Madrid ! What for ? " 

" To take the Regent" 

"You are mad." 

" Come, come, chevalier, no big words. You ask my con- 
ditions ; I tell them you. They do not suit you : good evening. 
We are not the worst friends for that." 

And Koqueflnette rose, took his hat, and was going towards 
the door. 

" What, are you going ? " 

" Certainly." 

" But you forget, captain." 

" Ah I it is true," said Roquefinette, intentionally mistaking 
IVHarmental's meaning; "you gave me a hundred louis; I 
must give you an account of them." 

He took his purse from his pocket. 

" A horse, thirty louis ; a pair of double-barrelled pistols, 
ten louis ; a saddle, bridle, etc., two louis ; total, forty-two 
louis. There are fifty-eight louis in this purse; the horse, 
pistols, saddle, and bridle, are yours. Come, we are quits." 

And he threw the purse on the table. 

" But that is not what I have to say to you, captain." 

" What is it, then ? " 

" That it is impossible to confide to you a mission of such 
importance." 

" It must be so, nevertheless, or not at all. I must take 
the Regent to Madrid, and I alone, or he remains at the 
Palais Royal." 

" And you think yourself worthy to take from the hands 
of Philippe d'Orleans the sword which conquered at L^rida 
La Pucelle, and which rested by the sceptre of Louis XIV., 
on the velvet cushion with the golden tassels ? " 



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DAVID AND GOLIATH. 307 

^^ I heard in Italy that Francis I., at the "battle of Pavia^ 
gave up his to a butcher." 

And the captain pressed his hat on his head^ and once more 
approached the door 

" Listen, captain," said D'Harmental, in his most concili- 
ating tone ; '' a truce to arguments and quotations ; let us split 
the difference. I will conduct the Eegent to Spain and you 
shall accompany me." 

" Yes, so that the poor captain may be lost in the dust 
which the dashing chevalier excites, and that the brilliant 
colonel may throw the old bandit into the shade ! Impossible, 
chevalier, impossible ! I will have the management of the 
affair, or I will have nothing to do with it." 

" But this is treason ! " cried D'Harmental. 

"Treason, chevalier! And where have you seen, if you 
please, that Captain Roquefinette was a traitor ? Where are 
the agreements which I have made and not kept? Where 
ai*e the secrets which I have divulged ? I, a traitor ! Good 
heavens, chevalier, it was only the day before yesterday that 
I was offered gold to betray you, and I refused ! No, no I 
Yesterday you came and asked me to aid you a second time. 
I told you that I was ready, but on new conditions. Well, 
I have just told you those conditions. Accept them or refuse 
them. Where do you see treason in all this ? " 

"And if I was weak enough to accept these conditions, 
monsieur, do you imagine that the confidence which her Boyal 
Highness the Duchesse du Maine reposes in the Chevalier 
d'Harmental can be transferred to Captain Roquefinette ? " 

" And what has the Duchesse du Maine to remark upon in 
this ? You undertake a piece of business. There are material 
hindrances in the way of your executing it yourself. You 
hand it over to me. That is all." 

" That is to say," answered D'Harmental, shaking his head, 
" that you wish to be free to loose the Eegent, if the Regent 
offers you, for leaving him in France, twice as much as I offer 
you for taking him to Spain." 

" Perhaps," replied Roquefinette. 

"Harken, captain," said D'Harmental, making a new 
effort to retain his sang-froidy and endeavoring to renew the 
negotiations, " I will give you twenty thousand francs down." 

" Trash," answered the captain. 

" I will take you with me to Spain." 



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308 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

"Fiddlesticks." 

"And I engage on my honor to obtain you a regiment." 
Boquefinette began to hum a tune. 

" Take care," said D'Harmental ; " it is more dangerous for 
you now, at the point at which we have arrived, and with the 
terrible secrets which you know, to refuse than to accept." 

" And what will happen, then, if I refuse ? " asked Eoque- 
finette. 

"It will happen, captain, that you will not leave this 
room." 

" And who will prevent me ? " 

" I ! " cried D'Harmental, bounding before the door, a pistol 
in each hand. 

" You ? " said Roquefinette, making a step towards the 
chevalier and then crossing his arms and regarding him 
fixedly. 

" One step more, captain," said the chevalier, " and I give 
you my word I will blow your brains out." 

" You blow my brains out — you ! In the first place, it is 
necessary for that that you should not tremble like an old 
woman. Do you know what you will do ? You will miss me ; 
the noise will alarm the neighbors, who will call the guard, 
and they will question me as to the reasons of your shooting 
at me, and I shall be obliged to tell them." 

" Yes, you are right, captain," cried the chevalier, uncock- 
ing his pistols, and replacing them in his belt, " and I shall 
be obliged to kill you more honorably than you deserve. 
Draw, monsieur, draw." 

And D'Harmental, leaning his left foot against the door, 
drew his sword, and placed himself on guard. It was a court 
sword, a thin ribb6n of steel, set in a gold handle. Roque- 
finette began to laugh. 

"With what shall I defend myself, chevalier? Do you 
happen to have one of your mistress' knitting needles here ? " 

" Defend yourself with your own sword, monsieur ; long as 
it is, you see that I am placed so that I can not make a step 
to avoid it " 

" What do you think of that, my dear ? " said the captain, 
addressing his blade. 

" It thinks that you are a coward, captain," cried D'Har- 
mental, " since it is necessary to strike you in the face to make 
you fight." And with a movement as quick as lightning, 



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DAVID AND GOLIATH. 809 

D'Harmental cat the captain across the face with his rapier, 
leaving on the cheek a long blue mark like the mark of a whip. 

Roquefinette gave a cry which might have been taken for 
the roaring of a lion, and bounding back a step, threw himself 
on guard, his sword in his hand. Then began between these 
two men a duel, terrible, hidden, silent, for both were intent 
on their work, and each understood what sort of an adver- 
sary he had to contend with. By a reaction, very easy to be 
understood, it was now D'Harmental who was calm, and 
Eoquefinette who was excited. Every instant he menaced 
D'Harmental with his long sword, but the frail rapier followed 
it as iron follows the loadstone, twisting and spinning round 
it like a viper. At the end of about five minutes the chev- 
alier had not made a single lunge, but he had parried all those 
of his adversary. At last on a more rapid thrust than the 
others, he came too late to the parry, and felt the point of 
his adversary's sword at his breast. At the same time a red 
spot spread from his shirt to his lace frill. D'Harmental saw 
it, and with a spring engaged so near to Eoquefinette that the 
hilts almost touched. The captain instantly saw the disad- 
vantage of his long sword in such a position. A thrust " sur 
les armes^^ and he was lost; he made a spring backwards, 
his foot slipped on the newly -waxed floor, and his sword-hand 
rose in spite of himself. Almost by instinct D'Harmental 
profited by it, lunged within, and pierced the captain's chest, 
where the blade disappeared to the hilt. D'Harmental recov- 
ered to parry in return, but the precaution was needless ; the 
captain stood still an instant, opened his eyes wildly, the 
sword dropped from his grasp, and pressing his two hands to 
the wound^ he fell at full length on the floor. 

^' Curse the rapier I " murmured he, and expired ; the strip 
of steel had pierced his heart. 

Still D'Harmental remained on guard, with his eyes fixed 
on the captain, only lowering his sword as the dead man let 
his slip. Finally, he found himself face to face with a corpse, 
but this corpse had its eyes open, and continued to look at 
him. Leaning against the door, the chevalier remained an 
instant thunderstruck ; his hair bristled, his forehead became 
covered with perspiration, he did not dare to move, he did not 
dare to speak, his victory seemed to him a dream. Suddenly 
the mouth of the dying man set in a last convulsion — the 
partisan was dead, and his secret had died with him. 



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810 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

How to recognize, in the midst of three hundred peasants 
baying and selling horses, the twelve or fifteen pretended ones 
who were to carry off the Begent ? 

D'Harmental gave a low cry; he would have given ten 
years of his own life to add ten minutes to that of the captain. 
He took the body in his arms, raised it, called it, and, seeing 
his reddened hands, let it fall into a sea of blood, which, fol- 
lowing the inclination of the boards down a channel in the 
floor, reached the door, and began to spread over the threshold. 

At that moment the horse, which was tied to the shutter, 
neighed violently. 

D'Harmental made three steps towards the door, then he 
remembered that Boquefinette might have some memorandum 
about him which might serve as a guide. In spite of his 
repugnance, he searched the pockets of the corpse, one after 
another, but the only papers he found were two or three old 
bills of restaurateurs and a love-letter from La Normande. 

Then, as he had nothing more to do in that room, he filled 
his pockets with gold and notes, closed the door after him, 
descended the stairs rapidly, left at a gallop towards the Rue 
Gros Chenet, and disappeared round the angle nearest to the 
boulevard. 



CHAPTER XXXTX. 

THB SAVIOUR OF FRAKGB. 

While these terrible events were going forward in the attic 
of Madame Denis^ house, Bathilde, uneasy at seeing her neigh- 
bor's window so long shut, had opened hers, and the first 
thing she saw was the dappled gray horse attached to the 
shutter ; but as she had not seen the captain go in, she thought 
that the steed was for Baoul, and that reflection immediately 
recalled both her former and present fears. 

Bathilde consequently remained at the window, looking on 
all sides, and trying to read in the physiognomy of every 
passer-by whether that individual was an actor in the myste- 
rious drama which was preparing, and in which she instinc- 
tively understood that Raoul was to play the chief part. She 
remained, then, with a beating heart, her neck stretched out, 
and her eyes wandering hither and thither, when all at once 



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THE SAVIOUR OF FRANCE. 311 

her unquiet glances concentrated on a point. The young girl 
gave a cry of joy, for she saw Buvat coming round the comer 
from the Eue Montmartre. Indeed, it was the worthy calig- 
raphist in person, who, looking behind him from time to 
time — as if he feared pursuit — advanced with his cane 
horizontal, and at as swift a run as his little legs permitted. 

While he enters, and embraces his ward, let us look back 
and relate the causes of that absence, which, doubtless, caused 
as much uneasiness to our readers as to Nanette and Bathilde. 

It will be remembered how Buvat — driven by fear of 
torture to the revelation of the conspiracy — had been forced 
by Dubois to make every day, at his house, a copy of the 
documents which the pretended Prince de Listhnay had given 
him. It was thus that the minister of the Kegent had suc- 
cessively learned all the projects of the conspirators, which he 
had defeated by the arrest of Marshal Villeroy and by the 
convocation of Parliament. 

Buvat had been at work as usual, but about four o'clock, as 
he rose, and took his hat in one hand and his cane in the 
other, Dubois came in and took him into a little room above 
that where he had been working, and, having arrived there, 
asked him what he thought of the apartment. Flattered by 
this deference of the prime minister's to his judgment, Buvat 
hastened to reply that he thought it very agreeable. 

" So much the better," answered Dubois, " and I am very 
glad that it is to your taste, for it is yours." 

" Mine ! " cried Buvat, astonished. 

"Certainly: is it astonishing that I should wish to have 
tinder my hand, or rather, under my eyes, a personage as 
important as yourself ? " 

" But," asked Buvat, " am I then going to live in the Palais 
Royal?" 

" For some days, at least," answered Dubois. 

" Monseigneur, let me at all events inform Bathilde." 

"That is just the thing. Bathilde must not be informed." 

" But you will permit that the first time I go out " — 

" As long as you remain here you will not go out." 

"But," cried Buvat, with terror, "but I am then a 
prisoner ? " 

" A state prisoner, as you have said, my dear Buvat ; but 
calm yourself ; your captivity will not be long, and while it 
lasts we will take of you all the care which is the due of the 



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312 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

saviour of France, for you have saved France, Monsieur 
Buvat." 

" I have saved France, and here I am a prisoner under bolts 
and bars ! '^ 

" And where on earth do you see bolts and bars, my dear 
Buvat ? " said Dubois, laughing ; " the door shuts with a latch, 
and has not even a lock ; as to the window, yours looks on the 
gardens of the Palais Eoyal, and has not even a lattice to 
intercept the view, a superb view — you are lodged here like 
the Eegent himself." 

" Oh, my little room ! Oh, my terrace ! " cried Buvat, letting 
himself sink exhausted on a seat. 

Dubois, who had no other consolation to bestow upon Buvat, 
went out, and placed a sentinel at the door. The explanation 
of this step is easy. Dubois feared that, seeing the arrest of 
Villeroy, they would suspect from whence the information 
came, and would question Buvat and that he would confess 
all. This confession would, doubtless, have arrested the con- 
spirators in the midst of their schemes, which, on the contrary, 
Dubois, informed beforehand of all their plans, wished to see 
carried to a point, so that in crushing one monster rebellion 
he might put an end to all lesser ones. 

Towards eight o'clock, as daylight began to fade, Buvat 
heard a great noise at his door, and a sort of metallic clash- 
ing, which did not tend to reassure him. He had heard 
plenty of lamentable stories of state prisoners who had been 
assassinated in their prisons, and he rose trembling and ran 
to the window. The court and gardens of the Palais Koyal 
were full of people, the galleries began to be lighted up, the 
whole scene was full of gaiety and light. He heaved a pro- 
found sigh, thinking perhaps that he might be bidding a last 
adieu to that life and animation. At that instant the door 
was opened; Buvat turned round shuddering, and saw two 
tall footmen in red livery bringing in a well-supplied table. 
The metallic noise which had so much disturbed him had 
been the clattering of the silver plates and dishes. 

Buvat's first impression was one of thankfulness to heaven 
that so imminent a danger as that which he had feared had 
changed into such a satisfactory event. But immediately the 
idea struck him that the deadly intentions held towards him 
were still the same, and that only the mode of their execu- 
tion were changed — instead of being assassinated, like Jean- 



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THE SAVIOUR OF FRANCE. 813 

sans-Pear, or the Due de Guise, he was going to be poisoned, 
like the Dauphin, or the Due de Burgundy. He threw a 
rapid glance on the two footmen, and thought he remarked 
something sombre which denoted the agents of a secret 
vengeance. From this instant his determination was taken, 
and, in spite of the scent of the dishes, which appeared to 
him an additional proof, he refused all sustenance, saying 
majestically that he was neither hungry nor thirsty. 

The footmen looked at each other knowingly. They were 
two sharp fellows, and had understood Buvat's character at a 
glance, and not understanding a man not being hungry when 
before a pheasant stuffed with truffles, or not thirsty before a 
bottle of Chambertin, had penetrated the prisoner's fears 
pretty quickly. They exchanged a few words in a low tone, 
and the boldest of the two, seeing that there was a means of 
drawing some profit from the circumstances, advanced 
towards Buvat, who recoiled before him as far as the room 
would allow. 

" Monsieur," said he, in a reassuring tone, " we under- 
stand your fears, and, as we are honest servants, we will 
show you that we are incapable of lending ourselves to the 
dealings which you suspect ; consequently, during the whole 
time that you remain here, my comrade and I, each in our 
turn, will taste all the dishes which are brought you, and all 
the wines which are sent in, happy if by our devotion we can 
restore your tranquillity." 

"Monsieur," answered Buvat, ashamed that his secret 
sentiments had been discovered thus, " monsieur, you are very 
polite, but in truth I am neither hungry nor thirsty." 

"Never mind, monsieur," said the man, "as my comrade 
and myself desire not to leave the smallest doubt on your 
mind, we will execute what we have offered. Comtois, my 
friend," continued the fellow, sitting down in the place which 
had been intended for Buvat, " do me the favor to help me 
to a little of that soup, a wing of that pullet in rice, a glass 
of that Chambertin, there — to your health, monsieur." 

"Monsieur," said Buvat, opening his eyes, and looking at 
the footman who was dining so impudently in his stead, 
" monsieur, it is I who am your servant, and 1 should wish 
to know your name, in order to preserve it in my memory 
by the side of that of the good jailer who gave to Comte 
I'Ancien a similar proof of devotion to that which you give me." 



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314 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

<< Monsieur/' answered the footman^ modestly, << I am called 
Bourguignon, and here is my comrade Comtois, whose turn 
for devotion will come to-morrow, and who, when the moment 
shall have arrived, will not be behindhand. Comtois, my 
friend, a slice of that pheasant and a glass of champagne. 
Do you not see that, in order to reassure monsieur com- 
pletely, I must taste everything ? It is a severe test, I know, 
but where would be the merit of being an honest man if it 
did not sometimes bring trials like the present? To your 
health, Monsieur Buvat." 

" Heaven preserve yours. Monsieur Bourguignon." 

<^ Now, Comtois, hand me the dessert, so that I may leave 
no doubt on Monsieur Buvat's mind.'* 

« Monsieur Bourguignon, I beg you to believe that, if I had 
any, they are completely dissipated." 

" No, monsieur, no, I beg your pardon, you still have some. 
Comtois, my friend, now the hot coffee, very hot ; I wish to 
drink it exactly as monsieur would have done, and I presume 
it is thus that monsieur likes it." 

" Boiling, monsieur, boiling," answered Buvat, bowing. 

"Oh!" said Bourguignon, sipping his coffee, and raising 
his eyes blissfully to the ceiling, "you are right, monsieur. 
It is only so that coffee is good — half -cold it is a very second- 
rate beverage. This, I may say, is excellent. Comtois, my 
friend, receive my compliments, you wait admirably; now 
help me to take away the table. You ought to know that 
there is nothing more unpleasant than the smell of wines and 
viands to those who are not hungry nor thirsty. Monsieur," 
continued Bourguignon, stepping towards the door, which he 
had carefully shut during the repast, and which he opened 
while his companion pushed the table before him, " monsieur, 
if you have need of anything you have three bells, one at the 
head of your bed, and two at the mantel-piece. Those at 
the fireplace are for us, that at the bed for your valet-de- 
chambre,'^ 

"Thank you, monsieur," said Buvat, "you are too good. 
I do not wish to disturb any one." 

" Do not trouble yourself about that, monsieur — mon- 
seigneur desires that you should make yourself at home." 

" Monseigneur is very polite." 

" Does monsieur require anything else ? " 

"Nothing morC; my friend, nothing more," said Buvat, 



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THE SAVIOUR OF FRANCE, 316 

touched by so much devotion ; " nothing, except to express my 
gratitude." 

" I have only done my duty, monsieur,'* answered Bour- 
guignon, modestly, bowing for the last time, and shutting the 
door. 

"Jfa foiP^ said Buvat^ following Bourguignon with his 
eyes, " it must be allowed that some proverbs are great liars. 
One says, ' As insolent as a lackey,' and yet here is an indi- 
vidual practising that calling who nevertheless could not 
possibly be more polite. I shall never believe in proverbs 
again, or rather, I shall make a difference between them." 

And making himself this promise, Buvat found himself 
alone. 

Nothing makes a man so hungry as the sight of a good 
dinner ; that which had just been eaten under the good man's 
very eyes surpassed in luxury everything that he had ever 
dreamed of, and he began — influenced by the decided calls 
of his stomach — to reproach himself for his too great defiance 
of his persecutors; but it was too late. Buvat, it is true, 
might have rung for Monsieur Bourguignon and requested a 
second dinner, but he was of too timid a character for that, 
and the result was that he had to search amongst his stock 
of proverbs for the most consoling, and having found, between 
his situation and the proverb, " He who sleeps dines," an 
analogy which seemed to him most direct, he resolved to make 
use of it, and| as he could not dine, to endeavor at least to 
sleep. 

But, at the moment of taking this resolution, Buvat found 
himself assailed by new fears. Could th«y not profit by his 
sleep to despatch him ? The night is the time of ambushes 
— he had often heard his mother tell of beds which, by the 
lowering of their canopies, smothered the unfortunate sleeper ; 
of beds which sank through a trap so softly as not to wake 
the occupant; finally, of secret doors opening in panels, and 
even in furniture, to give entrance to assassins. This luxuri- 
ant dinner, these rich wines, had they not been sent him to 
ensure a sounder sleep ? All this was possible, nay, probable, 
and Buvat, who felt the instinct of self-preservation in the 
highest degree, took his candle, and commenced a most minute 
investigation. After having opened the doors of all the cup- 
boards, sounded all the panelling, Buvat had gone down oil 
his hands and feet, and was stretching his head timidly under 



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816 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

the bed when he thought he heard steps behind him. The 
position in which he found himself did not permit him to act 
on the defensive, he therefore remained motionless and waited 
with a beating heart. After a few seconds of solemn silence, 
which filled Buvat with vague alarms, a voice said ; 

" Your pardon ; but is not monsieur looking for his night- 
cap ? " 

Buvat was discovered — there was no "means of escaping the 
danger, if danger there was. He therefore drew his head 
from under the bed, took his candle, and remaining on his 
knees, in a humble and beseeching posture, he turned towards 
the individual who had just addressed him, and found himself 
face to face with a man dressed in black, and carrying, folded 
up on his arm, many articles, which Buvat recognized as 
human clothes. 

" Yes, monsieur,*' said Buvat, seizing the opening which was 
offered to him, with a presence of mind on which he secretly 
congratulated himself, " is that search forbidden ? " 

" Why did not monsieur, instead of troubling himself, ring 
the bell ? I have the honor to be appointed monsieur's valeU 
de-chambre, and I have brought him a night-cap and night- 
shirt.'* 

And with these words the valet-de-chambre spread out on 
the bed a night-shirt, embroidered with flowers, a cap of the 
finest lawn, and a rose-colored ribbon. Buvat, still on his 
knees, regarded him with the greatest astonishment. 

" Now," said the vaiet-de^hambre, " will monsieur allow me 
to help him to undress ? " 

" No, monsieur, no," said Buvat, accompanying the refusal 
with the sweetest smile he could assume. *' No, I am accus- 
tomed to undress myself. I thank you, monsieur." 

The valet-de-chambre retired, and Buvat remained alone. 

As the inspection of the room was completed, and as his 
increasing hunger rendered sleep more necessary, Buvat began 
to undress, sighing ; placed — in order not to be left in the 
dark — a candle on the corner of the chimney-piece, and 
sprang, with a groan, into the softest and warmest bed he had 
ever slept on. 

" The bed is not sleep," is an axiom which Buvat might, 
from experience, have added to the list of his true proverbs. 
Either from fear or hunger, Buvat passed a very disturbed 
night, and it was irot till near morning that he fell asleep ; 



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THE SAVIOUR OF FRANCE. 317 

even then his slumbers were peopled with the most terrible 
visions and nightmares. He was just waking from a dream 
that he had been poisoned by a leg of mutton, when the valet- 
de-chambre entered, and asked at what time he would like 
breakfast. 

Buvat was not in the habit of breakfasting in bed, so he 
rose quickly, and dressed in haste ; he had just finished when 
Messieurs Bourguignon and Comtois entered, bringing the 
breakfast, as the day before they had brought the dinner. 

Then took place a second rehearsal of the scene which we 
have before related, with the exception that now it was Mon- 
sieur Comtois who ate and Monsieur Bourguignon who waited ; 
but when it came to the coffee, and Buvat, who had taken 
nothing for twenty-four hours saw his dearly-loved beverage, 
after having passed from the silver cofFee-pot into the porcelain 
cup, pass into the cavernous mouth of Monsieur Comtois, he 
could hold out no longer, and declared that his stomach 
demanded to be amused with something, and that, consequently, 
he desired that they would leave him the coffee and a roll. 
This declaration appeared to disturb the devotion of Monsieur 
Comtois, who was nevertheless obliged to satisfy himself with 
one cup of the odoriferous liquid which, together with a roll 
and the sugar, was placed on a little table, while the two 
scamps carried off hhe rest of the feast, laughing in their 
sleeves. 

Scarcely was the door closed when Buvat darted towards 
the little table and, without even waiting to dip one into the 
other, ate the bread and drank the coffee ; then, a little com- 
forted by that repast, insufficient as it was, began to look at 
things in a less gloomy point of view. 

Tn truth, Buvat was not wanting in a certain kind of good 
sense, and, as he had passed the preceding evening and night, 
and entered on the present morning without interference, he 
began to understand that, though from some political motive 
they had deprived him of his liberty, they were far from 
wishing to shorten his days, and surrounded him, on the con- 
trary, with cares, of which he had never before been the object. 
He had seen that the dinner of the day before was better 
than his ordinary dinner, that the bed was softer than his 
ordinary bed, that the coffee he had just drank possessed an 
aroma which the mixture of chicory took away from his, and 
he could not conceal from himself that the elastic couches 



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318 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

and stuffed chairs which he had sat upon for the last twenty- 
four hours were much preferable to the hair sofa and cane 
chairs of his own establishment. The only thing, then, 
which remained to trouble him was the uneasiness which 
Bathilde would feel at his not returning. He had for an 
instant the idea — not daring to renew the request which he 
had made the day before, to have news of him sent to his 
ward -^ of imitating the man with the iron mask, who had 
thrown a silver plate from the window of his prison on to the 
shore, by throwing a letter from his balcony into the court- 
yard of the Palais Eoyal ; but he knew what a fatal result 
this infraction of the will of Monsieur de Saint-Mars had had 
for the unfortunate prisoner, so that he feared, by such an 
action, to increase the rigors of his captivity, which at present 
seemed to him tolerable. 

The result of all these reflections was that Buvat passed 
the morning in a much less agitated manner than he had the 
evening and the night; moreover, his hunger — appeased by 
the roll and the coffee — only existed in the form of that appe- 
tite which is an enjoyment when one is sure of a good 
dinner. Add to all this the particularly cheerful look-out 
which the prisoner had from his window, and it will be easily 
understood that mid-day arrived without too many sorrows 
or too much ennui. 

Exactly at one o'clock the door opened, and the table 
reappeared ready laid, and brought, like the day before 
and that morning, by the two valets. But this time it was 
neither Monsieur Bourguignon nor Monsieur Comtois who 
sat down to it. Buvat declared himself perfectly reassured 
concerning the attentions of his august host; he thanked 
Messieurs Comtois and Bourguignon for the devotion of 
which each in turn had given him a proof, and begged them 
to wait upon him in their turn. The two servants made wry 
faces, but obeyed. It will be understood that the happy 
disposition in which Buvat now was became more blissful 
under the influence of a good dinner. Buvat ate all the eat- 
ables, drank all the drinkables, and at last, after having 
sipped his coffee — a luxury which he usually only allowed 
himself on Sundays — and having capped the Arabian nectar 
with a glass of Madame Anfoux's liquor was, it must be con- 
fessed, in a state bordering upon ecstasy. 

That evening the supper was equally successful; but as 



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THE SAVIOUR OF FRANCE. 319 

Buvat had abandoned himself at dinner rather freely to the 
consumption of Chambertin and Sillery, about eight o'clock 
in the evening he found himself in a state of glorification 
impossible to describe. The consequence was that when 
the valet-de-chawhre entered, instead of finding him like the 
evening before, with his head under the bed, he found Buvat 
seated on a comfortable sofa, his feet on the hobs, his head 
leaning back, his eyes winking, and singing between his teeth, 
with an expression of infinite tenderness : 

** Then let me go. 
And let me play, 
Beneath the hazel-tree." 

Which, as may be seen, was a great improvement on the 
state of the worthy writer twenty-four hours before. More- 
over, when the valet-de-^hambre offered to help him to 
undress, Buvat, who found a slight difficulty in expressing his 
thoughts, contented himself with smiling in sign of approba- 
tion ; then extended his arms to have his coat taken off, then 
his legs to have his slippers removed; but, in spite of his 
state of exaltation, it is only just to Buvat to say that it was 
only when he found himself alone that he laid aside the rest 
of his garments. 

This time, contrary to what he had done the day before, 
he stretched himself out luxuriously in his bed, and fell asleep 
in five minutes and dreamed that he was the Grand Turk. 

He awoke as fresh as a rose, having only one trouble — the 
uneasiness that Bathilde must experience, but otherwise per- 
fectly happy. 

It may easily be imagined that the breakfast did not lessen 
his good spirits; on the contrary, being informed that he 
might write to Monsieur the Archbishop of Cambray, he 
asked for paper and ink, which were brought him, took from 
his pocket his pen-knife, which never left him, cut his pen 
with the greatest care, and commenced, in his finest writing, 
a most touching request, that if his captivity was to last, 
Bathilde might be sent for, or, at least, that she might be 
informed that, except his liberty, he was in want of nothing, 
thanks to the kindness of the prime minister. 

This request, to the caligraphy of which Buvat had devoted 
no little care, and whose capited letters represented different 
plants, trees, or animals, occupied the worthy writer from 



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320 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

breakfast till dinner. On sitting down to table he gave the 
note to Bourguignon, who charged himself with carrying it to 
the prime minister, saying that Comtois would wait during 
his absence. In a quarter of an hour Bourguignon returned, 
and informed Buvat that monseigneur had gone out, but that 
— in his absence — the petition had been given to the person 
who aided him in his public affairs, and that person had 
requested that Monsieur Buvat would come and see him as 
soon as he had finished his dinner, but hoped that monsieur 
would not in any degree hurry himself, since he who made 
the request was dining himself. In accordance with this per- 
mission Buvat took his time, feasted on the best cookery, 
imbibed the most generous wines, sipped his coffee, played 
with his glass of liquor, and then — the last operation com- 
pleted — declared in a resolute tone that he was ready to 
appear before the substitute of the prime minister. 

The sentinel had received orders to let him pass, so Buvat, 
conducted by Bourguignon, passed proudly by him. For 
some time they followed a long corridor, then descended a 
staircase ; at last the footman opened a door, and announced 
Monsieur Buvat. 

Buvat found himself in a sort of laboratory, situated on the 
ground floor, with a man of from forty to forty-two, who was 
entirely unknown to him, and who was very simply dressed, 
and occupied in following — at a blazing furnace — some 
chemical experiment, to which he appeared to attach great 
importance. This man, seeing Buvat, raised his head, and 
having looked at him curiously ; 

" Monsieur," said he, " are you Jean Buvat ? " 

" At your service, monsieur," answered Buvat, bowing. 

« The request which you have just sent to the abb^ is your 
handwriting ? " 

" My own, monsieur." 

" You write a fine hand." 

Buvat bowed with a proudly modest smile. 

" The abb^," continued the unknown, « has informed me 
of the services which you have rendered us." 

" Monseigneur is too good," murmured Buvat, " it was not 
worth the trouble." 

" How ! not worth the trouble ? Indeed, Monsieur Buvat, 
it was, on the contrary, well worth the trouble, and the proof 



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THE SAVIOUR OF FRANCE. 321 

is, that if you have any favor to ask from the Kegent I will 
charge myself with the message." 

" Monsieur/^ said Buvat, " since you are so good as to offer 
to interpret my sentiments to his Koyal Highness, have the 
kindness to request him, when he is less pressed, if it is not 
too inconvenient to pay me my arrears." 

" How ! your arrears, Monsieur Buvat ? What do you 
mean ? " 

" I mean, monsieur, that I have the honor to be employed at 
the royal library, but that for six years I have received no 
salary." 

" And how much do your arrears amount to ? " 

" Monsieur, I must have a pen and ink to calculate exactly." 

" Oh, but something near the mark — calculate from 
memory." 

" To five thousand three hundred and odd francs, besides 
the fractions of sous and deniers." 

" And you wish for payment. Monsieur Buvat ? " 

"I do not deny it, monsieur; it would give me great 
pleasure." 

" And is this all you ask ? " 

"All." 

" But do you not ask anything for the service which you 
have just rendered France ? " 

" Indeed, monsieur, I should like permission to let my ward 
Bathilde know that she may be easy on my account, and that 
I am a prisoner at the Palais Royal. I would also ask — if 
it would not be imposing upon your kindness too much — 
that she might be allowed to pay me a little visit, but if this 
second request is indiscreet I will confine myself to the first." 

" We will do better than that ; the causes for which you 
were retained exist no more, and we are going to set you at 
liberty ; so you can go yourself to carry the news to Bathilde." 

" What, monsieur, what ! " cried Buvat ; " am I then no 
longer a prisoner ? " 

" You can go when you like." 

" Monsieur, I am your very humble servant, and I have the 
honor of presenting you my respects." 

" Pardon, Monsieur Buvat, one word more." 

" Two, monsieur." 

" I repeat to you that France is under obligations to you, 
which she will acquit. Write, then, to the Eegent, inform him 



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322 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

of wliat is due to you, show him your situation, and if you 
have a particular desire for anything say so boldly. I 
guarantee that he will grant your request." 

" Monsieur, you are too good, and I shall not fail. I hope, 
then, that out of the first money which comes into the 
treasury ^' — 

" You will be paid. I give you my word." 

" Monsieur, this very day my petition shall be addressed to 
the Begent." 

" And to-morrow you will be paid." 

" Ah, monsieur, what goodness ! " 

« Gro, Monsieur Buvat, go ; your ward expects you." 

"You are right, monsieur, but she will lose nothing by 
having waited for me, since I bring her such good news. I 
may have the honor of seeing you again, monsieur. Ah ! 
pardon, would it be an indiscretion to ask your name ? " 

" Monsieur Philippe." 

« Au revoir, Monsieur Philippe ! " 

"Adieu, Monsieur Buvat. One instant — I must give 
orders that they are to allow you to pass." 

At these words he rang : an usher appeared. 

" Send Ravanne." 

The usher went out; a few seconds afterwards a young 
officer of guards entered. 

" Ravanne," said Monsieur Philippe, " conduct this gentle- 
man to the gate of the Palais Royal. There he is free to go 
where he wishes." 

" Yes, monseigneur," answered the young officer. 

A cloud passed over Buvat's eyes and he opened his mouth 
to ask who it was that was being called monseigneur, but 
Ravanne did not leave him time. 

« Come, monsieur," said he, " I await you." 

Buvat looked at Monsieur Philippe and the page with a 
stupefied air; but the latter — not understanding his hesitation 
— renewed his invitation to follow. Buvat obeyed, drawing 
out his handkerchief and wiping his forehead. 

At the door the sentinel wished to stop Buvat. 

"By the order of his Royal Highness Monseigneur the 
Regent monsieur is free," said Ravanne. 

The soldier presented arms and allowed him to pass. 

Buvat thought he should faint, he felt his legs fail him and 
leaned against a wall. 



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THE SAVIOUR OF FRANCE. 828 

" What is the matter, monsieur ? " asked his guide. 

"Pardon, monsieur," murmured Buvat, "but who is the 
person to whom I have just had the honor of speaking ? " 

" Monseigneur the Regent in person." 

"Not possible!" 

" Not only possible but true." 

"What I it was the Eegent himself who promised to pay me 
my arrears ? " 

" I do not know what he promised you, but I know that 
the person who gave me the order to accompany you was the 
Regent." 

" But he told me he was called Philippe." 

"Well, he is — Philippe d'Orleans." 

" That is true, monsieur, that is true, Philippe is his Christian 
name. The Regent is a brave man, and when I remember 
that there exist scoundrels who conspire against him — against 
a man who has promised to pay ' me my arrears — but they 
deserve to be hanged, all of them, to be broken on the wheel, 
drawn and quartered, burnt alive; do not you think so, 
monsieur ? " 

" Monsieur," said Ravanne, laughing, " I have no opinion on 
matters of such importance. We are at the gate; I should be 
happy to accompany you further but monseigneur leaves in 
half an hour for the Abbey of Chelles, and as he has some 
orders to give me before his departure I am — to my great 
regret — obliged to quit you." 

"All the regret is on my side, monsieur," said Buvat, 
graciously, and answering by a profound bow to the slight nod 
of the young man, who, when Buvat raised his head, had 
already disappeared. This departure left Buvat perfectly free 
in his movements, and he profited thereby to take his way 
down the Place des Victoires towards the Rue du Temps- 
Perdu, round the corner of which he turned at the very 
moment when D'Harmental ran his sword through the body 
of Roquefinette. It was at this moment that poor Bathilde 
— who was far from suspecting what was passing in her 
neighbor's room — had seen her guardian and had rushed to 
meet him on the stairs, where Buvat and she had met at the 
third flight. 

" Oh, my dear, dear father," cried Bathilde, remounting the 
staircase in Buvat's arms, and stopping to embrace him at every 
step, " where have you been ? What has happened ? How is 



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824 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

it that we have not seen you since Monday ? What uneasi- 
ness you have caused us, mon Dieu / But something extraor- 
dinary must have occurred." 

" Yes, most extraordinary," answered Buvat. 

*^ Ah, mon Dieu / tell then me, first, where do you come from ? " 

« From the Palais Royal." 

*< What ! from the Palais Royal ; and with whom were you 
stopping at the Palais Royal ? " 

" The Regent." 

"You with the Regent! and what about?" 

" I was a prisoner." 

« A prisoner — you ! " 

" A state prisoner." 

" And why were you a prisoner ? " 

" Because I have saved France." 

" Oh, father ! are you mad ?" cried Bathilde, terrified. 

" Ko, but there has been enough to make me so if I had not 
had a pretty strong head." 

" Oh, explain, for God's sake ! " 

" Fancy that there was a conspiracy against the Regent." 

" Oh, mon Dieu / '* 

"And that I belonged to it." 

" You ? " 

"Yes, I, without being — that is to say, you know that 
Prince de Listhnay ? " 

"WeUI" 

" A sham prince, my child, a sham prince ! " 

" But the copies which you made for him?" 

"Manifestoes, proclamations, incendiary papers, a general 
revolt, Brittany — Normandy — the States-General — King 
of Spain — I have discovered all this." 

" You ? " cried Bathilde, horrified. 

" Yes, I ; and the Regent has called me the saviour of France 
— me ; and is going to pay me my arrears." 

"My father, my father, you talk of conspirators, do you 
remember the name of any of them ? " 

"Firstly, Monsieur the Due du Maine; fancy that miser- 
able bastard conspiring against a man like Monseigneur the 
Regent. Then a Count de Laval, a Marquis de Pompadour, 
a Baron de Valef, the Prince de Cellamare, the Abbe Brigand, 
that abominable Abb^ Brigand ! Think of my having copied 
the list." 



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THE SAVIOUR OF FRANCE. 325 

" My father," said Bathilde, shuddering with fear, " my 
father, amongst all those names did you not see the name 
— the name — of — Chevalier — Eaoul D'Harmental ? " 

"That I did," cried Buvat, "the Chevalier Raoul D'Har- 
mental — why he is the head of the company : but the Regent 
knows them all — this very evening they will all be arrested, 
and to-morrow hung, drawn, quartered, broken on the wheel." 

"Oh, luckless, shameful, that you are!" cried Bathilde, 
wringing her hands wildly ; " you have killed the man whom 
I love — but, I swear to you, by the memory of my mother, 
that if he dies I will die also I " 

And thinking that she might still be in time to warn D^Har- 
mental of the danger which threatened him, Bathilde, left 
Buvat confounded, darted to the door, flew down the staircase, 
cleared the street at two bounds, rushed up the stairs, and, 
breathless, terrified, dying, hurled herself against the door of 
lyHarmentaPs room, which, badly closed by the chevalier, 
yielded before her, exposing to her view the body of the cap- 
tain stretched on the floor, and swimming in a sea of blood. 

At this sight, so widely different from what she expected, 
Bathilde, not thinking that she might perhaps be compromis- 
ing her lover, sprang towards the door calling for help, but 
on reaching the threshold, either from weakness, or from the 
blood, her foot slipped, and she fell backwards with a terrible 
cry. 

The neighbors came running in the direction of the cry, 
and found that Bathilde had fainted, and that her head, in 
falling against the angle of the door, had been badly wounded. 

They carried Bathilde to Madame Denis' room and the good 
woman hastened to offer her hospitality. 

As to Captain Eoquefinette, as he had torn off the address 
of the letter which he had in his pocket to light his pipe with, 
and had no other paper to indicate his name or residence, they 
carried his body to the morgue where, three days afterwards, 
it was recognized by La Kormande. 



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826 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

CHAPTER XL. 

GOD DISPOSES. 

Meanwhile D'Harmental had set off at a gallop, feeling 
that he had not an instant to lose in bringing about the 
changes which the death of Captain Eoquefinette rendered 
necessary in his hazardous enterprise. In the hope of recog- 
nizing by some sign the individuals who were destined to play 
the part of supernumeraries in this great drama, he followed 
the boulevards as far as the Porte Saint Martin, and, having 
arrived there, turned to the left, and was in the midst of the 
horse market; it was there, it will be remembered, that the 
twelve or fifteen sham peasants enlisted by Eoquefinette waited 
the orders of their captain. 

But, as the deceased had said, no sign pointed out to the 
eye of the stranger who were the men, clothed like the rest, 
and scarcely known to each other. D'Harmental, therefore, 
sought vainly ; all the faces were unknown to him ; buyers 
and sellers appeared equally indifferent to everything except 
the bargains which they were concluding. Twice or thrice, 
after having approached persons whom he fancied he recog- 
nized as false bargainers, he went away without even speaking 
to them, so great was the probability that, among the five or 
six hundred individuals who were on the ground, the chevalier 
would make some mistake which might be not only useless, 
but even dangerous. 

The situation was pitiable; D'Harmental unquestionably 
had there, ready to his hand, all the means necessary to the 
happy completion of his plot, but he had, in killing the cap- 
tain, broken with his own hand the thread which should have 
served him as a clue to them, and, the centre link broken, the 
whole chain had become useless. 

D'Harmental bit his lips till the blood came and wandered 
to and fro, from end to end of the market, still hoping that 
some unforeseen event would get him out of his difficulty. 
Time, however, flowed away, the market presented the same 
aspect, no one spoke to him, and two peasants to whom despair 
had caused him to address some ambiguous words, had opened 
their eyes and mouths in such profound astonishment that he 



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QOD DISPOSES. 827 

had instantly broken off the conversation; convinced that he 
was mistaken. 

Five o'clock struck. 

At eight or nine the Begent would repair to Chelles ; there 
waS; therefore^ no time to be lost^ particularly as this ambus- 
cade was the last resource for the conspirators, who might 
be arrested at any moment and who staked their remaining 
hopes on this last throw. I^Harmental did not conceal from 
himself the difficulties of the situation; he had claimed for 
himself the honor of the enterprise ; on him, therefore, rested 
all the responsibility — and that responsibility was terrible. 
On the other hand, he found himself in one of those situa- 
tions where courage is useless, and where human will shatters 
itself against an impossibility, and where the last chance is to 
confess one's weakness and ask aid from those who expect 
it of us. But D'Harmental was a man of determination; 
his resolution was soon taken — he took a last turn round the 
market to see if some conspirator would not betray himself 
by his impatience; but, seeing that all faces retained their 
expression of unconcern, he put his horse to the gallop, rode 
down the boulevards, gained the Faubourg Saint Antoine, 
dismounted at No. 15, went up the staircase, opened the 
door of a little room, and found himself in the company of 
Madame du Maine, Laval, Yalef, Pompadour, Malezieux, and 
Brigand. 

A general cry arose on seeing him. 

D'Harmental related everything : the pretensions of Eoque- 
finette, the discussion which had followed, the duel which had 
terminated that discussion. He opened his cloak and showed 
his shirt saturated with blood ; then he passed to the hopes 
which he had entertained of recognizing the sham peasants 
and putting himself at their head in place of the captain. He 
showed his hopes destroyed, his investigations useless, and 
wound up by an appeal to Laval, Pompadour, and Valef, who 
answered that they were ready to follow the chevalier to the 
end of the earth, and to obey his orders. 

Nothing was lost, then — four resolute men, acting on their 
own account, were well worth twelve or fifteen hired vaga- 
bonds, who were not influenced by any motive beyond that 
of gaining some hundred louis apiece. The horses were 
ready in the stable, every one had come armed ; D'Avranches 
was not yet gone, which reinforced the little troop by another 



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328 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

devoted man. They sent for masks of black velvet, so as to 
hide from the Regent as long as possible who his enemies 
were, left with Madame du Maine Malezieux, who from his 
age, and Brigand, who from his profession, were naturally 
excluded from such an expedition, fixed a rendezvous at 
Saint Mand^, and left, each one separately, so as not to 
arouse suspicions. An hour afterwards the five friends were 
reunited, and ambushed on the road to Chelles, between 
Vincennes and Nogent-sur-Marne. 

Half-past six struck on the ch§,teau clock. 

D'Avranches had been in search of information. The 
Regent had passed at about half-past three ; he had neither 
guards nor suite, he was in a carriage and four, ridden by two 
jockeys and preceded by a single outrider. There was no 
resistance to be feared ; on arresting the prince they would 
turn his course towards Charenton, where the postmaster 
was, as we have said, in the interest of Madame du Maine, 
take him into the courtyard, whose door would close upon 
him, force him to enter a traveling carriage which would be 
waiting with the postilion in his saddle; D'Harmental and 
Valef would seat themselves by him, they would cross the 
Marne at Alfort, the Seine at Villeneuve-Saint-Georges, reach 
Grand- Vaux, then Monthery, and find themselves on the road 
to Spain. If at any of the villages where they changed horses 
the Regent endeavored to call out, D'Harmental and Valef 
would threaten him, and, if he called out in spite of the 
menaces, they had that famous passport to prove that he who 
claimed assistance was not the prince, but only a madman 
who thought himself the Regent, and whom they were con- 
ducting to his family, who lived at Saragossa. All this was 
a little dangerous, it is true, but, as is well known, these are 
the very enterprises which succeed so much the easier from 
their unforeseen audacity. 

Seven o'clock, eight o'clock, struck successively. D'Har- 
mental and his companions saw with pleasure the night 
approaching, and the darkness falling more and more dense 
and black around them ; two or three carriages had already 
given false alarms, but had had no other effect than preparing 
them for the real attack. At half -past eight the night was 
pitch dark, and a sort of natural fear, which the conspirators 
had felt at first, began to change into impatience. 

At nine o'clock they thought they could distinguish sounds. 



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GOD DISPOSES. 329 

D'Avranches lay down, with his ear to the ground, and dis- 
tinctly heard the rolling of a carriage. At that instant they 
saw, at about a thousand paces from the angle of the road, a 
point of light like a star; the conspirators trembled with 
excitement, it was evidently the outrider with his torch. 
There was soon no doubt — they saw the carriage with its two 
lanterns. D'Harmental, Pompadour, Valef, and Laval grasped 
one another's hands, put on their masks, and each one took 
the place assigned to him. The carriage advanced rapidly 
— it was really that of the duke. By the light of the torch 
which he carried they could distinguish the red dress of the 
outrider, some five-and-twenty paces before the horses. The 
road was silent and deserted, everything was favorable. 
D'Harmental threw a last glance on his companions. D'Av- 
ranches was in the middle of the road pretending to be drunk, 
Laval and Pompadour on each side of the path, and opposite 
him Valef, who was cocking his pistols. As to the outrider, 
the two jockeys and the prince, it was evident that they were 
all in a state of perfect security, and would fall quietly into 
the trap. The carriage still advanced ; already the outrider 
had passed D'Harmental and Valef, suddenly he struck 
against D'Avranches, who sprang up, seized the bridle, 
snatched the torch from his hand, and extinguished it. At 
this sight the jockeys tried to turn the carriage, but it was 
too late ; Pompadour and Laval sprang upon them pistol in 
hand, whilst D'Harmental and Valef presented themselves at 
the two doors, extinguished the lanterns, and intimated to the 
prince that if he did not make any resistance his life would 
be spared, but that if, on the contrary, he defended himself, 
or cried out, they were determined to proceed to extremities. 

Contrary to the expectation of D'Harmental and Valef, who 
knew the courage of the Regent, the prince only said : 

" Well, gentlemen, do not harm me. I will go wherever 
you wish." 

D'Harmental and Valef threw a glance at the road ; they 
saw Pompadour and D'Avranches leading into the depth of 
the wood the outrider, the two jockeys, the outrider's horse, 
and two of the carriage horses which they had unharnessed. 
The chevalier sprang from his horse, mounted that of the first 
postilion ; Laval and Valef placed themselves before the doors, 
the carriage set off at a gallop, and taking the first turn to the 
left, began to roll, without noise and without light, in the 



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880 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

direction of Gharenton. All the arrangements had been so 
perfect that the seizure had not occupied more than five 
minutes; no resistance had been made, not a cry had been 
uttered. Most assuredly, this time fortune was on the side of 
the conspirators. 

But having arrived at the end of the cross-road, IKHar- 
mental encountered a first obstacle; the barrier — either by 
accident or design — was closed, and they were obliged to 
retrace their steps and take another road. The chevalier 
turned his horses, took a lateral alley, and the journey, inter- 
rupted for an instant, recommenced at an increased speed. 

The new route which the chevalier had taken led him to a 
four-cross road; one of the roads led straight to Gharenton. 
There was no time to lose, and in any event he must traverse 
this square. Eor an instant he thought he distinguished men 
in the darkness before him, but this vision disappeared like a 
mist, and the carriage continued its progress without interrup- 
tion. On approaching the cross-roads D'Harmental fancied 
he heard the neighing of a horse, and a sort of ringing of iron, 
like sabres being drawn from their sheaths, but either taking 
it for the wind among the leaves, or for some other noise for 
which he need not stop, he continued with the same swiftness, 
the same silence, and in the midst of the same darkness. 
But, having arrived at the cross-roads, D'Harmental noticed a 
singular circumstance, a sort of wall seemed to close all the 
roads ; something was happening. D'Harmental stopped the 
carriage, and wished to return by the road he had come down, 
but a similar wall had closed behind him. At that instant he 
heard the voices of Laval and Valef crying : 

" We are surrounded, save yourself ! " 

And both left the doors, leaped their horses over the ditch, 
darted into the forest, and disappeared amongst the trees. 

But it was impossible for D'Harmental, who was mounted 
on the postilion's horse, to follow his companions, and, not 
being able to escape the living wall, which the chevalier recog- 
nized as a regiment of musketeers, he tried to break through 
it, and with his head lowered, and a pistol in each hand, 
spurred his horse up the nearest road, without considering 
whether it was the right one. He had scarcely gone ten 
steps, however, when a musket-ball entered the head of his 
horse, which fell, entangling D'HarmentaPs leg. Instantly 
eight or ten cavaliers sprang upon him ; he fired one pistol by 



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GOD DISPOSES. 831 

hazard, and put the other to his head to blow his brains out^ 
but he had not time, for two musketeers seized him by the 
arms, and four others dragged him from beneath the horse. 
The pretended prince descended from the carriage, and turned 
out to be a valet in disguise ; they placed D^Harmental with 
two officers inside the carriage, and harnessed another horse in 
the place of the one which had been shot. The carriage, once 
more moved forward, taking a new direction, and escorted by 
a squadron of musketeers. A quarter of an hour afterwards 
it rolled over a draw-bridge, a heavy door grated upon its 
hinges, and D'Harmental passed under a sombre and vaulted 
gateway, on the inner side of which an officer in the uniform 
of a colonel was waiting for him. It was Monsieur de Launay, 
the governor of the Bastile. 

If our readers desire to know how the plot had been dis- 
covered, they must recall the conversation between Dubois 
and La Fillon. The gossip of the prime minister, it will be 
remembered, suspected Roquefinette of being mixed up in some 
illicit proceeding, and had denounced him on condition of his 
life being spared. A few days afterwards D'Harmental came 
to her house, and she recognized him as the young man who 
had held the former conference with Eoquefinette. She had 
consequently mounted the stairs behind him, and, going into 
the next room, had, by aid of a hole bored in the partition, 
heard everything. 

What she had heard was the project for carrying off the 
Regent on his return from Ghelles. Dubois had been informed 
the same evening, and, in order to take the conspirators in the 
act, had put a suit of the Regent's clothes on Monsieur Bour- 
guignon, and, having surrounded the Bois de Vincennes with a 
regiment of Gray Musketeers, besides light horse and dragoons, 
had produced the result we have just related. The head of 
the plot had been taken in the fact, and as the prime minister 
knew the names of all the conspirators there was little chance 
remaining for them of escape from the meshes of the vast net 
which was hourly closing around them. 



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832 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

CHAPTER XLI. 

A PRIME minister's MEMORY. 

When Bathilde opened her eyes she found herself in Made- 
moiselle Emilie's room. Mirza was lying on the end of the 
bed ; the two sisters were one at each side of her pillow, and 
Buvat, overcome by grief, was sitting in a corner, his head 
bent, and his hands resting on his knees. 

At first all her thoughts were confused, and her sensation 
was one of bodily pain ; she raised her hand to her head ; the 
wound was behind the temple. A doctor, who had been called 
in, had arranged the first dressing, and left orders that he was 
to be sent for if fever declared itself. 

Astonished to find herself — on waking from a sleep which 
had appeared to her heavy and painful — in bed in a strange 
room, the young girl turned an inquiring glance on each per- 
son present, but Emilie and Athenais shunned her eyes, and 
Buvat heaved a mournful sigh. Mirza alone stretched out 
her little head for a caress. Unluckily for the coaxing little 
creature, Bathilde began to recover her memory; the veil 
which was drawn before the late events rose little by little, 
and soon she began to connect the broken threads which 
might guide her in the past. She recalled the return of 
Buvat, what he had told her of the conspiracy, the danger 
which would result to D'Harmental from the revelation he 
had made. Then she remembered her hope of being in time 
to save him, the rapidity with which she had crossed the 
street and mounted the staircase ; lastly, her entry into 
Raoul's room returned to her memory, and once more she 
found herself before the corpse of Roquefinette. 

" And he," she cried, ** what has become of him ? " 

No one answered, for neither of the three persons who were 
in the room knew what reply to give ; only Buvat, choking 
with tears, rose, and went towards the door. Bathilde under- 
stood the grief and remorse expressed in that mute with- 
drawal ; she stopped him by a look, and extending her arms 
towards him : 

" My father," said she, " do you no longer love your poor 
Bathilde ? " 

" I no longer love you, my darling child ! " cried Buvat, 



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A PRIME MINISTER'S MEMORY. 333 

falling on his knees, and kissing her hand, " I love you no 
longer ! My God ! it will be you who will not love me now, 
and you will be right, for I am worthless ; I ought to have 
known that that young man loved you, and ought to have 
risked all, suffered all, rather than — But you told me noth- 
ing, you had no confidence in me, and I — with the best 
intentions in the world — made nothing but mistakes ; oh, 
unlucky, unhappy, that I am, you will never forgive me, and 
then — how shall I live ? " 

" Father," cried Bathilde, " for heaven's sake try and find 
out what has happened." 

" Well, my child, well, I will discover ; will not you for- 
give me if I bring you good news ? If the news is bad, you 
will hate me even more ; but that will but be just, but you will 
not die, Bathilde ? " 

" Go, go," said Bathilde, throwing her arms round his 
neck, and giving him a kiss in which fifteen years of gratitude 
struggled with one day of pain ; «' go, my existence is in the 
hands of God, he only can decide whether I shall live or 
die." 

Buvat understood nothing of all this but the kiss, and — 
having inquired of Madame Denis how the chevalier had been 
dressed — he set out on his quest. 

It was no easy matter for a detective so simple as Buvat to 
trace Raoul's progress; he had learnt from a neighbor that 
he had been seen to spring upon a gray horse which had 
remained some half hour fastened to the shutter, and that 
he had turned round the Rue Gros Chenet. A grocer, who 
lived at the corner of the Rue des Jeuneurs, remembered 
having seen a cavalier whose person and horse agreed per- 
fectly with the description given by Buvat paSs by at full 
gallop ; and, lastly, a fruit woman, who kept a little shop at 
the corner of the boulevards, swore positively that she had 
seen the man, and that he had disappeared by the Porte Saint 
Denis ; but from this point all the information was vague, 
unsatisfactory, and uncertain, so that after two hours of use- 
less inquiry Buvat returned to Madame Denis' house with- 
out any more definite information to give Bathilde than that, 
wherever D'Harmental might be gone, he had passed along 
the Boulevard Bonne-Nouvelle. Buvat found his ward much 
agitated; during his absence she had grown rapidly worse, 
and the crisis foreseen by the doctor was fast approaching. 



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384 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

Bathilde's eyes flashed ; her skin seemed to glow ; her words 
were short and firm. Madame Denis had just sent for the 
doctor. 

The poor woman was not without her own anxieties; for 
some time she had suspected that the Abb^ Brigand was 
mixed up in some plot^ and what she had just learned, that 
D'Harmental was not a poor student but a rich colonel, con- 
firmed her conjectures, since it had been Brigand who had 
introduced him to her. This similarity of position had not a 
little contributed to soften her heart — always kind — towards 
Bathilde. She listened, then, with eagerness to the little 
information which Buvat had been able to collect for the 
sufferer, and, as it was far from being sufficiently positive to 
calm the patient, she promised, if she heard anything herself, 
to report it directly. 

In the meantime the doctor arrived. Great as was his 
command over himself, it was easy to see that he thought 
Bathilde in some danger — he bled her abundantly, ordered 
refreshing drinks, and advised that some one should watch 
at the bedside. Emilie and Athenais, who, their little ab- 
surdities excepted, were excellent girls, declared directly that 
that was their business, and that they would pass the night 
with Bathilde alternately ; Emilie, as eldest, claimed the first 
watch, which was given her without contest. As to Buvat, 
since he could not remain in the room, they asked him to 
return home; a thing to which he would not consent till 
Bajihilde herself had begged it. The bleeding had some- 
what calmed her, and she seemed to feel better; Madame 
Denis had left the room ; Mademoiselle Athenaits also had 
retired ; Monsieur Boniface, after returning from the morgue, 
where he had been to pay a visit to the body of Eoquefinette, 
had mounted to his own room, and Emilie watched by the 
fireplace and read a little book which she took from her 
pocket. She shortly heard a movement in the bed, and ran 
towards it ; then, after an instant's silence during which she 
heard the opening and shutting of two or three doors, and 
before she had time to say : " That is not the voice of 
Monsieur Eaoul ; it is the Abb^ Brigand,'' Bathilde had fallen 
back on her pillow. 

An instant afterwards Madame Denis half opened the door, 
and in a trembling voice called Emilie, who kissed Bathilde 
and went out. 



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A PRIME MINISTER'S MEMORY. 335 

Suddenly Bathilde was aroused ; the abb^ was iu the room 
next to hers^ and she thought that she heard him pronounce 
Eaoul's name. She now remembered having several times 
seen the abb^ at D'HarmentaPs rooms ; she knew that he 
was one of the most intimate friends of Madame du Maine ; 
she thought, then, that the abb^ must bring news of him. 
Her first idea was to slip from the bed, put on a dressing- 
gown, and go and ask what had happened; but she con- 
sidered that if the news was bad they would not tell it, and 
that it would be better to overhear the conversation, which 
appeared animated. Consequently she pressed her ear to the 
panel and listened as if her whole life had been spent in 
cultivating that single sense. 

Brigand was relating to Madame Denis what had happened. 
Valef had made his way to the Faubourg Saint Antoine and 
given warning to Madame du Maine of the failure of the 
expedition. Madame du Maine had immediately freed the 
conspirators from their oaths, advised Malezieux and Brigand 
to save themselves, and retired to the arsenal. Brigand 
came, therefore, to bid adieu to Madame Denis ; he was going 
to attempt to reach Spain in the disguise of a pedler. In the 
midst of his recital, interrupted by the exclamation of poor 
Madame Denis and of Mademoiselles Athenai's and Emilie, 
the abb^ thought that he heard a cry in the next room, 
just at the time when he was relating D'Harmental's catas- 
trophe; but as no one had paid any attention to the cry, 
and as he was not aware of Bathilde's being there, he had 
attached no importance to this noise, regarding the nature of 
which he might easily have been mistaken ; moreover, Boni- 
face, summoned in his turn, had entered at the moment, 
and, as the abb^ had a particular fancy for Boniface, his 
entrance had naturally turned Brigand's thoughts into a 
different channel. 

Still, this was not the time for long leave-takings ; Brigand 
desired that daylight should find him as far as possible from 
Paris. He took leave of the Denis family, and set out with 
Boniface, who declared that he would accompany friend 
Brigaud as far as the barrier. 

As they opened the staircase door they heard the voice of 
the portress, who appeared to be opposing the passage of 
some one ; they descended to discover the cause of the dis- 
cussion^ and found BathildC; with streaming hair, naked feet. 



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886 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

and wrapped in a long white robe^ standing on the staircase, 
and endeavoring to go out in spite of the efforts of the port- 
ress. The poor girl had heard everything; the fever had 
changed into delirium; she would join Baoul; she would see 
him again ; she would die with him. 

The three women took her in their arms. For a minute 
she struggled against them, murmuring incoherent words, 
her cheeks were flushed with fever, while her lips trembled, 
and her teeth chattered ; but soon her strength failed her, 
her bead sank back, and, calling on the name of Eaoul, she 
fainted a second time. 

They sent once more for the doctor. What he had feared 
was now no longer doubtful — brain fever had declared itself. 
At this moment some one knocked; it was Buvat, whom 
Brigand and Boniface had found wandering to and fro before 
the house like a ghost ; and who, not able to keep up any 
longer, had come to beg a seat in some corner, he did not 
care where, so long as from time to time he had news of 
Bathilde. The poor family were too sad themselves not to 
feel for the grief of others. Madame signed to Buvat to seat 
himself in a comer, and retired into her own room with 
Athenais, leaving Emilie once more with the sufferer. About 
daybreak Boniface returned ; he had gone with Brigand as far 
as the Barri^re d'Enf er, where the abb^ had left him, hoping — 
thanks to his good steed, and to his disguise — to reach the 
Spanish frontier. 

Bathilde's delirium continued. All night she talked of 
Raoul ; she often mentioned Bu vat's name, and always accused 
him of having killed her lover. Buvat heard it and, without 
daring to defend himself, to reply, or even to groan, had 
silently burst into tears, and, pondering on what means 
existed of repairing the evil he had caused, he at last arrived 
at a desperate resolution. He approached the bed, kissed the 
feverish hand of Bathilde, who did not recognize him, and 
went out. 

Buvat had, in fact, determined on a bold course. It was 
to go himself to Dubois, tell him everything, and ask, as his 
recompense — not the payment of his arrears — not advance- 
ment at the library — but pardon for D'Harmental. It was 
the least that could be accorded to the man whom the Eegent 
himself had called the saviour of France. Buvat did not 



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A PRIME MINISTER'S MEMORY. 837 

doubt that lie should soon return bearing good news, and that 
it would restore Bathilde to health. 

Consequently, Buvat went home to arrange his disordered 
dress, which bore the marks of the events of the day and the 
emotions of the night ; and, moreover, he did not dare to pre- 
sent himself at the minister's house so early, for fear of dis- 
turbing him. His toilet finished, and as it was still only nine 
o'clock, he returned for a few minutes to Bathilde's room — 
it was that which the young girl had left the day before. 
Buvat sat down in the chair which she had quitted, touched 
the articles which she liked to touch, kissed the feet of the 
crucifix which she kissed each night — one would have thought 
him a lover following the steps of his mistress. 

Ten o'clock struck; it was the hour at which Buvat had 
often before repaired to the Palais Koyal. The fear of being 
importunate gave place to the hope of being received as he 
had always been. He took his hat and cane, and called at 
Madame Denis' to ask how Bathilde had been during his 
absence ; he found that she had never ceased to call for Eaoul. 
The doctor had bled her for the third time. He raised his 
eyes to heaven, heaved a profound sigh, and set out for the 
Palais Royal. 

The moment was unlucky. Dubois, who had been con- 
stantly on his feet for four or five days, suffered horribly from 
the malady which was to cause his death in a few months ; 
moreover he was beyond measure annoyed that only D'Har- 
mental had been taken, and had just given orders to Leblanc 
and D'Argenson to press on the trial with all ppssible speed, 
when his valet-de-chambre, who was accustomed to see the 
worthy writer arrive every morning, announced M. Buvat. 

" And who the devil is M. Buvat ? " 

'^ It is I, monseigneur," said the poor fellow, venturing to 
slip between the valet and the door, and bowing his honest 
head before the prime minister. 

" Well, who are you ? " asked Dubois, as if he had never 
seen him before. 

"What, monseigneur!" exclaimed the astonished Buvat; 
*' do you not recognize me ? I come to congratulate you on 
the discovery of the conspiracy." 

" I get congratulations enough of that kind — thanks for 
yours, M. Buvat," said Dubois, quietly. 

" But, monseigneur, I come also to ask a favor." 



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888 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

"A favor ! and on what grounds ? " 

" Monseigneur/' stammered Buvat, " but — monseigneur — 
do jou not remember that you promised me a — a recompense ? '' 

" A recompense to you, you double idiot I " 

"What! monseigneur/' continued poor Buvat, getting 
more and more frightened, "do you not recollect that you told 
me, here in this very room, that I had my fortune at my 
fingers' ends ? " 

" And now," said Dubois, " I tell you that you have your 
life in your legs, for unless you decamp pretty quick " — 

" But, monseigneur " — 

"Ah I you reason with me, scoundrel," shouted Dubois, 
raising himself with one hand on the arm of his chair, and 
the other on his archbishop's crook, "wait, then, you shall 
see " — 

Buvat had seen quite enough; at the threatening gesture 
of the premier he understood what was to follow and, turning 
round, he fled at full speed ; but, quick as he was, he had 
still time to hear Dubois — with the most horrible oaths and 
curses — order his valet to beat him to death if ever again he 
put his foot inside the door of the Palais Royal. 

Buvat understood that there was no more hope in that 
direction, and that, not only must he renounce the idea of 
being of service to D'Harmental, but also of the payment of 
his arrears^ in which he had fondly trusted. TMs chain 
of thought naturally reminded him that for eight days he had 
not been to the library — he was near there — he resolved to 
go to his ofiBice, if it was only to excuse himself to his superior, 
and relate to him the causes of his absence ; but here a grief, 
not less terrible than the rest, was in store for Buvat; on 
opening the door of his office, he saw his seat occupied — a 
stranger had been appointed to his place ! 

As he had never before — during the whole fifteen years — 
been an hour late, the curator had imagined him dead, and had 
replaced him. Buvat had lost his situation for having saved 
France I 

This last stroke was more than he could bear, and Buvat 
returned home almost as ill as Bathilde. 



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BONIFACE. . 889 

CHAPTER XLII. 

BONIFACE. 

Dubois urged on the trial of D'Harmental, hoping that his 
revelations would furnish him with weapons against those 
whom he wished to attack. D'Harmental, however, baffled him 
by a total denial with respect to others. As to what concerned 
himself personally, he confessed everything, saying, that his 
attempt on the Regent was the result of private revenge, a 
revenge which had arisen from the injustice which had been 
done him in depriving him of his regiment. As to the men 
who had accompanied him, and who had lent him their aid in 
the execution of his plans, he declared that they were poor 
devils of peasants, who did not even know whom they were 
escorting. All this was not highly probable, but there was no 
means of bringing anything beyond the answers of the 
accused to bear on the matter ; the consequence was that, to 
the infinite annoyance of Dubois, the real criminals escaped 
his vengeance, under cover of the eternal denials of the 
chevalier, who denied having seen Monsieur or Madame du 
Maine more than once or twice in his life, or ever having been 
trusted with any political mission by either of them. 

They had arrested successively Laval, Pompadour, and 
Valef, and had taken them to the Bastile, but they knew that 
they might rely upon the chevalier ; and, as the situation in 
which they found themselves had been foreseen, and it had 
been agreed what each should say, they all entirely denied 
any knowledge of the affair, confessing associations with 
Monsieur and Madame du Maine, but saying that those asso- 
ciations were confined to a respectful friendship. As to 
D'Harmental, they knew him, they said, for a man of honor, 
who complained of a great injustice which had been done to 
him. They were confronted, one after the other, with the 
chevalier ; but these interviews had no other result than that 
of confirming each in his system of defence, and showing 
each that the system was religiously adhered to by his com- 
panion. 

Dubois was furious — he re-opened the proofs for the affair 
of the States-General, but that had been settled by the special 
Parliament, which had condemned the King of Spain's lettersi 



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340 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

and degraded the legitimated princes from their rank ; every 
one regarded them as sufficiently punished by this judgment, 
without raising a second prosecution against them on the same 
grounds. Dubois had hoped, by the revelations of I^Har- 
mental, to entangle Monsieur and Madame du Maine in a new 
trial, more serious than the first ; for this time it was a ques- 
tion of a direct attempt, if not on the life, at least on the 
liberty of the Regent; but the obstinacy of the chevalier 
destroyed all his hopes. His anger had therefore turned 
solely on I^Harmental and, as we have said, he had ordered 
Leblanc and I^Argenson to expedite the prosecution — an 
order which the two magistrates had obeyed with their ordin- 
ary punctuality. 

During this time Bathilde's illness had progressed in a 
manner which had brought the poor girl to death's door ; but 
at last youth and vigor had triumphed ; to the excitement of 
delirium had succeeded a complete and utter prostration ; one 
would have said that the fever alone had sustained her, and 
that, in departing, it had taken life along with it. 

Still every day brought improvement — slight, it is true, but 
decided — to the eyes of the good people who surrounded the 
bed of sickness. Little by little Bathilde began to recognize 
those who were about her, then she had stretched out her 
hand to them and then spoken to them. As yet, to the 
astonishment of every one, they had remarked that Bathilde 
had not mentioned the name of D'Harmental ; this was a 
great relief to those who watched her, for, as they had none 
but sad news to give her about him, they preferred, as will 
easily be understood, that she should remain silent on the 
subject ; every one believed, and the doctor most of all, that the 
young girl had completely forgotten the past or, if she remem- 
bered it, that she confounded the reality with the dreams of 
her delirium. They were all wrong, even the doctor; this 
was what had occurred : 

One morning when they had thought Bathilde sleeping and 
had left her alone for a minute, Boniface, who, in spite of the 
severity of his neighbor, still preserved a great fund of tender- 
ness towards her, had, as was his custom every morning since 
she had been ill, half opened the door to ask news of her. 
The growling of Mirza aroused Bathilde, who turned round 
and saw Boniface, and having before conjectured that she 
might probably know from him that which she should ask in 



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BONIFACE. 341 

vain from the others, namely, what had become of D'Har- 
mental, she had, while quieting Mirza, extended her pale and 
emaciated hand to Boniface. Boniface took it between his own 
two great red hands, then looking at the young girl and 
shaking his head : 

^^ Yes, Mademoiselle Bathilde, yes," said he, *^ you were 
right ; you are a lady and I am only a coarse peasant. You 
deserved a nobleman and it was impossible that you should 
love me." 

"As you wished, true, Boniface, but I can love you in 
another manner." 

" True, Mademoiselle Bathilde, very true ; well, love me as 
you will so that you love me a little." 

" I can love you as a brother." 

" As a brother ! You could love poor Boniface as a brother 
and he might love you as a sister ; he might sometimes hold 
your hand as he holds it now, and embrace you as he some- 
times embraces M^lie and Nais? Oh! speak, Mademoiselle 
Bathilde, what must I do for that ? " 

« My friend " — said Bathilde. 

" She has called me her friend," said Boniface, " she has 
called me her friend — I, who have said such things about 
her. Listen, Mademoiselle Bathilde : do not call me your 
friend, I am not worthy of the name. You do not know 
what I have said — I said that you lived with an old man ; 
but I did not believe it, Mademoiselle Bathilde, on my honor 
I did not — it was anger, it was rage. Mademoiselle Bathilde, 
call me beggar, rascal ; it will give me less pain than to hear 
you term me your friend." 

" My friend," recommenced Bathilde, " if you have said all 
that I pardon you, for now not only can you make up for it 
but also acquire eternal claims upon my gratitude." 

" And what shall I do ? Speak ! Let me see ? Must I go 
through the fire? Shall I jump out of the second-floor 
window? Shall I— What shall I do ? Tell me ! Every- 
thing is alike." 

" No, no, my friend, something much easier." 

" Speak, Mademoiselle Bathilde, speak ! " 

" First, it is necessary that you should swear to do it." 

" I swear by heaven ! " 

*^ Whatever they may say to hinder you ? " 

" Hinder me from doing what you ask ? — never I " 



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842 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

" Whatever may be the grief that it may cause me ? " 

<<N0| that is a different thing; if it is to give you pain I 
would rather be cut in half.'' 

" But if I beg you, my friend, my brother," said Bathilde, 
in her most persuasive voice. 

<< Oh, if you speak like that I shall cry like the Fountain of 
the Innocents ! " 

And Boniface began to sob. 

« You will tell me all, then, my dear Boniface ? " 

" Everything." 

" Well, tell me first " — Bathilde stopped. 

"What?" 

« Can you not imagine, Boniface ? " 

" Tes, I think so ; you want to know what has become of 
M. Raoul, do you not ? " 

"Oh, yes," cried Bathilde, "in heaven's name, what has 
become of him ? " 

" Poor fellow I " murmured Boniface. 

" Mon Dieu / is he dead ?" exclaimed Bathilde, sitting up in 
the bed. 

« No, happily not ; but he is a prisoner." 

" Where ? " 

" In the Bastile." 

" I feared it,'^ said Bathilde, sinking down in the bed ; " in 
the Bastile ! oh, mon Dieu ! mon Dieu I " 

" Oh, now you are crying, Mademoiselle Bathilde." 

"And I am here in this bed, chained, dying!" cried 
Bathilde. 

"Oh, do not cry like that, mademoiselle; it is your poor 
Boniface who begs you." 

" No, I will be firm, I will have courage ; see, Boniface, I 
weep no longer; but you understand that I must know 
everything from hour to hour, so that when he dies I may 
die." 

" You die, Mademoiselle Bathilde ! never, never ! " 

" You have promised, you have sworn it. Boniface, you 
will keep me informed of all ? " 

" Oh, wretch that I am, what have I promised ! " 

" And, if it must be, at the moment — the terrible moment 
— you will aid me, you will conduct me, will you not, Boni- 
face ? I must see him again — once — once more — if it be ou 
the scaffold." 



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BONIFACE. 848 

<< I will do all you desire, mademoiselle," said Boniface, 
falling on his knees, and trying vainly to restrain his sobs. 

" You promise me ? " 

" I swear." 

^< Silence I some one is coming — not a word of this, it is a 
secret between us two. Eise, wipe your eyes, dto as I do, 
and leave me." 

And Bathilde began to ]augh with a feverish nervousness 
that was frightful to see. Luckily it was only Buvat, and 
Boniface profited by his entrance to depart. 

" Well, how are you ? " asked the good man. 

" Better, father — much better ; I feel my strength return- 
ing ; in a few days I shall be able to rise ; but you, father, 
why do you not go to the office?" Buvat sighed deeply. 
'< It was kind not to leave me when I was ill, but now I am 
getting better, you must return to the library, father." 

"Yes, my child, yes," said Buvat, swallowing his sobs. 
" Yes, I am going." 

" Are you going without kissing me ? " 

" No, my child, on the contrary." 

" Why, father, you are crying, and yet you see that I am 
better!" 

" I cry ! " said Buvat, wiping his eyes with his handker- 
chief. " I crying ! If I am crying, it is only joy. Yes, I 
am going, my child — to my office — I am going." 

And Buvat, after having embraced Bathilde, returned 
home, for he would not tell his poor child that he had lost 
his place ; and the young girl was left alone. 

Then she breathed more freely now that she was tranquil ; 
Boniface, in his quality of clerk to the procureur at Ch^telet, 
was in the very place to know everything, and Bathilde was 
sure that Boniface would tell her everything. Indeed, from 
that time she knew all : that Raoul had been interrogated, 
and that he had taken everything on himself ; then the day 
following she learned that he had been confronted with Laval, 
Valef, and Pompadour, but that interview had produced 
nothing. Faithful to his promise, Boniface every evening 
brought her the day's news, and every evening Bathilde, at 
this recital, alarming as it was, felt inspired with new resolu- 
tion. A fortnight passed thus, at the end of which time 
Bathilde began to get up and walk a little about the room, to 
the great joy of Buvat, Nanette, and the whole Denis family. 



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344 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

One day Boniface, contrary to his usual habit, returned 
home from Joulu's at three o'clock, and entered the room 
of the sufferer. The poor boy was so pale ajid so cast down 
that Bathilde understood that he brought some terrible 
information and, giving a cry, she rose upright, with her eyes 
fixed on him. 

« All is finished, then ? " asked Bathilde. 

" Alas ! " answered Boniface, " it is all through his own 
obstinacy. They offered him pardon — do you understand. 
Mademoiselle Bathilde ? — his pardon if he would — and he 
would not speak a word." 

" Then," cried Bathilde, " no more hope ; he is condemned.'' 

" This morning. Mademoiselle Bathilde, this morning." 

"To death?" 

Boniface bowed his head. 

" And when is he to be executed ? " 

" To-morrow morning, at eight o'clock." 

"Very well," said Bathilde. 

" But perhaps there is still hope," said Boniface. 

^ What ? " asked Bathilde. 

" If even now he would denounce his accomplices." 

The young girl began to laugh, but so strangely that Boni- 
face shuddered from head to foot. 

" Well," said Boniface, " who knows ? I, if I was in his 
place, for example, should not fail to do so ; I should say, ^ It 
was not I, on my honor it was not I ; it was such a one, and 
such another, and so on.' " 

" Boniface, I must go out." 

" You, Mademoiselle Bathilde I " cried Boniface, terrified. 
" You go out I why it would kill you." 

" I say I must go out," 

" But you can not stand upright." 

" You are wrong, Boniface, I am strong — see." 

And Bathilde began to walk up and down the room with a 
firm step. 

" Moreover," added Bathilde, " you will go and fetch a coach." 

"But, Mademoiselle Bathilde" — 

"Boniface," said the young girl, "you have promised to 
obey me ; till this minute you have kept your word ; are you 
getting lax in your devotion ? " 

" I, Mademoiselle Bathilde ! I lax in my devotion to you ? 
You ask for a coach, I will fetch two." 



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BONIFACE. 346 

" Go, my fritnd, my brother," said Bathildo. 

"Oh, Mademoiselle Bathilde, with such words you could 
make me do what you liked. In five minutes the coach will 
be here." 

And Boniface ran out. 

Bathilde had on a loose white robe ; she tied it in with a 
girdle, threw a cloak over her shoulders, and got ready. As 
she was advancing to the door Madame Denis entered. 

" Oh, my dear child, what in heaven's name are you going 
to do ? » 

" Madame," said Bathilde, " it is necessary that I should go 
out." 

" Go out ! you are mad." 

" No, madame," said Bathilde, " I am in perfect possession 
of my senses, but you would drive me mad by retaining me." 

" But at least where are you going, my dear child ? " 

" Do you not know that he is condemned ? " 

" Oh ! mon Dieu 1 mon Dieu ! who told you that ? I had 
asked every one to keep it from you." 

" Yes, and to-morrow you would have told me that he was 
dead, and I should have answered, ^ You have killed him, for 
I had a means of saving him, perhaps.' " 

" You, you, my child ! you have a means of saving him ? " 

" I said, perhaps ; let me try the means, it is the only one 
remaining." 

" Go, my child," said Madame Denis, struck by the inspired 
tone of Bathilde's voice, " go, and may God guide you ! " 

Bathilde went out, descended the staircase with a slow but 
firm step, crossed the street, ascended the four stories without 
resting, opened the door of her room, which she had not 
entered since the day of the catastrophe. At the noise which 
she made, Nanette came out of the inner room and gave a 
cry at seeing her young mistress. 

" Well," asked Bathilde, in a grave tone, " what is it, my 
good Nanette ? " 

" Oh, mon Dieu ! " cried the poor woman, trembling, " is 
that really you, or is it your shadow ? " 

" It is I, Nanette ; I am not yet dead." 

" And why have you left the Denis' house ? hav« they said 
anything to wound you ? " 

" No, Nanette, but I have something to do which is neces- 
sary — indispensable." 



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846 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

** You, go out in your present state I you will kill yourself. 
M. Buvat, M. Buvat, here is our young lady going out ; come 
and tell her that it must not be." 

Bathilde turned towards Buvat, with the intention of em- 
ploying her ascendancy over him, if he endeavored to stop 
her, but she saw him with so sorrowful a face that she did not 
doubt that he knew the fatal news. On his part, Buvat burst 
into tears on seeing her. 

" My father," said Bathilde, " what has been done to-day 
has been the work of men, what remains is in the hands of 
Grod, and he will have pity on us." 

" Oh ! " cried Buvat, sinking into a chair, " it is I who have 
killed him, it is I who have killed him." 

Bathilde went up to him solemnly and kissed himu 

" But what are you going to do, my child ? " 

" My duty," answered Bathilde. 

She opened a little cupboard in the pre-dieUf took out a 
black pocketbook, opened it, and drew out a letter. 

*' You are right, you are right, my child, I had forgotten 
that letter." 

»< I remembered it," answered Bathilde, kissing the letter, 
and placing it next her heart, " for it was the sole inheritance 
my mother left me." 

At that moment they heard the noise of a coach at the 
door. 

" Adieu, father I adieu, ITanette ! Pray for my success." 

And Bathilde went away, with a solemn gravity which made 
her, in the eyes of those who watched her, almost a saint. 

At the door she found Boniface waiting with a coach. 

" Shall I go with you. Mademoiselle Bathilde ? " asked he. 

" No, no, my friend," said Bathilde, " not now ; to-morrow, 
perhaps." 

She entered the coach. 

" Where to ? " asked the coachman. 

"To the arsenal" 



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THE THREE VISITS. 347 

CHAPTER XLIIL 

THE THREE VISITS. 

On arriving at the arsenal Bathilde asked for Mademoiselle 
de Launay^ who — at her request — led her at once to Madame 
du Maine. 

« Ah, it is you, my child ! " said the duchess, with a dis- 
tracted air and voice ; << it is well to remember one's friends 
when they are in misfortune." 

" Alas, madame ! " replied Bathilde, " I come to your Eoyal 
Highness to speak of one still more unfortunate. Doubtless 
you may have lost some of your titles, some of your dignities, 
but their vengeance will stop, for no one would dare to 
attack the life, or even the liberty, of the son of Louis XIV., 
or the granddaughter of the great Cond^." 

" The life, no ; but the liberty I will not answer for it. Do 
you know that that idiot of an Abb^ Brigand has got arrested 
three days ago at Orleans, dressed as a pedler, and — on false 
revelations, which they represented to him as coming from 
me — has confessed all, and compromised us terribly, so that 
I should not be astonished at being arrested this very day ? '' 

" He for whom I come to implore your pity, madame, has 
revealed nothing, but, on the contrary, is condemned to death 
for having kept silence." 

" Ah I my dear child," cried the duchess, " you speak of 
poor D'Harmental ; he is a gentleman ; you know him, then ? " 

^< Alas ! " said Mademoiselle de Launay, *^ not only Bathilde 
knows him, but she loves him." 

" Poor child ! but what can I do ? I can do nothing : I have 
no influence. For me to attempt anything in his favor would 
be to take away from him the last hope remaining." 

<^ I know it, madame," said Bathilde, << and I only ask of 
your Highness one thing; it is that, through some of your 
friends or acquaintances, I may gain admission to Monseign- 
eur the Eegent. The rest lies with me." 

" My chUd, do you know what you are asking ? " inquired 
the duchess. ^' Do you know that the Begent respects no one ? 
Do you know — that you are beautiful as an angel, and still 
more so from your present paleness ? Do you know " — 



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848 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

"Madame," said Bathilde, with dignity, « I know that my 
father saved his life and died in his service." 

" Ah, that is another thing," said the duchess. " Stay, De 
Launay, call Malezieux." 

Mademoiselle de Launay obeyed, and a moment afterwards 
the faithful chancellor entered. 

" Malezieux," said the duchess, " you must take this child 
to the Duchesse de Berry, with a recommendation from me. 
She must see the Regent, and at once; the life of a man 
depends upon it — it is that of D'Harmental, whom I would 
myself give so much to save." 

" I go, madame," said Malezieux. 

" You see, my child," said the duchess, " I do all I can for 
you ; if I can be useful to you in any other way — if to pre- 
pare his flight, or to seduce a jailer, money is needed, I have 
still some diamonds, which can not be better employed than 
in saving the life of so brave a gentleman. Come, lose no 
time, go at once to my niece ; you know that she is her f ather^s 
favorite." 

" I know, madame," said Bathilde, " that you are an angel, 
and if I succeed I shall owe you more than my life." 

"Come, De Launay," continued Madame du Maine, when 
Bathilde was gone, " let us return to our trunks." 

Bathilde, accompanied by Malezieux, arrived at the Lux- 
embourg in twenty minutes. Thanks to Malezieux, Bathilde 
entered without difficulty; she was conducted into a little 
boudoir, where she was told to wait while the chancellor 
should see her Royal Highness and inform her of the favor 
they came to ask. 

Malezieux acquitted himself of the commission with zeal, 
and Bathilde had not waited ten minutes when she saw him 
return with the Duchesse de Berry. The duchess had an 
excellent heart, and she had been greatly moved by Male- 
zieux's recital, so that, when she appeared, there was no mis- 
taking the interest she already felt in the young girl who came 
to solicit her protection. Bathilde came to her, and would 
have fallen at her feet, but the duchess took her by the hand, 
and kissing her on the forehead : 

" My poor child," said she, " why did you not come to me a 
week ago ? " 

"And why a week ago rather than to-day, madame?" 
asked Bathilde, with anxiety. 



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THE THREE VISITS. 849 

<^ Because a week ago I should have yielded to none the 
pleasure of taking you to my father^ and that now is impos- 
sible." 

" Impossible ! and why ? " cried Bathilde. 

<<Do you not know that I am in complete disgrace since 
the day before yesterday ? Alas ! princess as I am^ I am a 
woman like you, and like you I have had the misfortune to 
love. We daughters of the royal race, you know, may not 
dispose of our hearts without the authority of the King and 
his ministers. I have disposed of my heart, and I have noth- 
ing to say, for I was pardoned ; but I disposed of my hand, 
and I am punished. See, what a strange thing ! They make 
a crime of what in any one else would have been praised. 
For three days my lover has been my husband, and for three 
days, that is to say, from the moment when I could present 
myself before my father without blushing, I am forbidden his 
presence. Yesterday my guard was taken from me; this 
morning I presented myself at the Palais Koyal and was 
refused admittance.*' 

<< Alas ! " said Bathilde, ^' I am unhappy, for I had no hope 
but in you, madame, and I know no one who can introduce 
me to the Begent. And it is to-morrow, madame, at eight 
o'clock, that they will kill him whom I love as you love M. 
de Eiom. Oh, madame, take pity on me, for if you do not 
I am lost ! " 

<< Mon Dieu ! Biom, come to our aid," said the duchess, 
turning to her husband, who entered at this moment ; " here 
is a poor child who wants to see my father directly, without 
delay ; her life depends on the interview. Her life ! What 
am I saying ? More than her life — the life of a man she 
loves. Lauzun's nephew should never be at a loss ; find us 
a means, and, if it be possible, I will love you more than 
ever." 

" I have one," said Biom, smiling. 

" Oh, monsieur," cried Bathilde, " tell it me, and I will be 
eternally grateful." 

" Oh, speak ! " said the Duchesse de Berry, in a voice almost 
as pressing as Bathilde's. 

" But it compromises your sister singularly." 

"Which one?" 

" Mademoiselle de Valois." 

" Agla6 1 how so ? " 



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860 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

<< Do you not know that there exists a kind of sorcerer^ who 
has the power of appearing before her day or night; no one 
knows how ? *' 

<< Eichelieu ? it is true ! '' cried the Duchesse de Berry ; 

iibut'' — 

" But what, madame ? " 

" He will not, perhaps '' — 

"I will beg him so that he will take pity on me," said 
Bathilde ; « besides, you will speak a word for me, will you 
not? He will not dare to refuse what your Highness asks." 

" We will do better than that," said the duchess. *' Eiom, 
call Madame de Mouchy, beg her to take mademoiselle her- 
self to the duke. Madame de Mouchy is my first lady-in- 
waiting," said the duchess, turning to Bathilde, <^and it is 
supposed that the Due de Richelieu owes her some gratitude. 
You see, I could not choose you a better introductress." 

" Oh, thanks, madame," cried Bathilde, kissing the duchess' 
hands, " you are right, and all hope is not yet lost. And you 
say that the Due de Eichelieu has a means of entering the 
Palais Eoyal ? " 

<^Stay, let us understand each other. I do not say so, 
report says so." 

« Oh ! " cried Bathilde, « if we only find him at home I " 

" That is a chance 5 but yet, let me see, what time is it ? 
scarcely eight o'clock. He will probably sup in town, and 
return to dress. I will tell Madame de Mouchy to wait for 
him with you. Will you not," said she, turning to the lady- 
in-waiting, who now entered, "wait for the duke till he 
returns ? " 

« I will do whatever your Highness orders," said Madame de 
Mouchy. 

" Well, I order you to obtain from the Due de Eichelieu a 
promise that mademoiselle shall see the Eegent, and I author- 
ize you to use, for this purpose, whatever influence you may 
possess over him." 

"Madame goes a long way," said Madame de Mouchy, 
smiling. 

"Never mind, go and do what I tell you; and you, my 
child, take courage, follow madame, and if, on your road in 
life, you hear much harm of the Duchesse de Berry, whom 
they anathematize, tell them that I have a good heart, and 
that, in spite of all these excommunications, I hope that much 



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THE THREE VISITS. 351 

will be forgiven me, because I have loved much. Is it not so, 
Riom ? " 

" I do not know, madame," said Bathilde, " whether you are 
well or ill epoken off, but I know that to me you seem so good 
and great that I could kiss the trace of your footsteps.'' 

"Now go, my child; if you miss M. de Richelieu you 
may not know where to find him, and may wait for him use- 
lessly." 

" Since her Highness permits it, come then, madame," said 
Bathilde, " for every minute seems to me an age." 

A quarter of an hour afterwards, Bathilde and Madame de 
Mouchy were at Richelieu's hotel. Contrary to all expecta- 
tion he was at home. Madame de Mouchy entered at once, 
followed by Bathilde. They found Richelieu occupied with 
Raff^, his secretary, in burning a number of useless letters, 
and putting some others aside. 

"Well, madame," said Richelieu, coming forward with a 
smile on his lips, " what good wind blows you here ? And to 
what event do I owe the happiness of receiving you at my 
house at half -past eight in the evening ? " 

" To my wish to enable you to do a good action, duke," 

" In that case, make haste, madame." 

" Do you leave Paris this evening ? " 

"No, but I am going to-morrow morning — to the Bastile." 

"What joke is this?" 

" I assure you it is no joke at all to leave my hotel, where 
I am very comfortable, for that of the King, where I shall be 
just the reverse. I know it, for this will be my third visit." 

" What makes you think you will be arrested to-morrow ? " 

" I have been warned." 

" By a sure person ? " 

" Judge for yourself." 

And he handed a letter to Madame de Mouchy, who took it 
and read: 

" Innocent or guilty you have only time to fly. The Regent 
has just said aloud before me that at last he has got the Due 
de Richelieu. To-morrow you will be arrested." 

" Do you think the person in a position to be well informed ? " 

" Yes, for I think I recognize the writing. " 

"You see; then, that I was right in telling you to make 



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362 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

liaste. Now, if it is a thing which may be done in the space 
of a night, speak, I am at your orders." 

" An hour will suffice/' 

" Speak, then ; you know I can refuse you nothing." 

" Well,'' said Madame de Mouchy, " the thing is told in a 
few words. Do you intend this evening to go and thank the 
person who gave you this advice ? " 

" Probably," said the duke, laughing. 

" Well, you must present mademoiselle to her." 

" Mademoiselle ! " cried the duke, astonished, and turning 
towards Bathilde, who till then had remained hidden in the 
darkness, '^ and who is mademoiselle ? " 

" A young girl who loves the Chevalier D^Harmental — who 
is to be executed to-morrow, as you know, and whose pardon 
she wishes to ask from the Eegent." 

" You love the Chevalier D'Harmental, mademoiselle ? " 
said the duke, addressing Bathilde. 

" Oh, monsieur I " stammered Bathilde, blushing. 

^'Do not conceal it, mademoiselle. He is a noble young 
man, and I would give ten years of my own life to save him. 
And do you think you have any means of interesting the 
Begent in his favor ? " 

" I believe so." 

"It is well. I only hope it may be so. Madame," con- 
tinued the duke, turning to Madame de Mouchy, " return to 
her Eoyal Highness and tell her that mademoiselle shall see 
the Regent in an hour." 

" Oh, M. le Due I " cried Bathilde. 

" Decidedly, my dear Richelieu, I begin to think, as people 
say, that you have made a compact with the devil ; that you 
may pass through key-holes, and I confess I shall be less 
imeasy now, in seeing you go to the Bastile." 

" At any rate, you know, madame, that charity teaches us 
to visit prisoners, and if you retain any recollection of poor 
Armand " — 

" Silence, duke, be discreet, and we will see what can be 
done for you. Meanwhile, you promise that mademoiselle 
shall see the Regent ? " 

" It is a settled thing." 

" Adieu, duke, and may the Bastile be easy to you." 

*' Is it adieu you say ? " 

* Au revoir I " 



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THE CLOSET. • 868 

« That is right." 

And, having kissed Madame de Mouchy^s hand, he led her 
to the door ; then, returning to Bathilde : 

"Mademoiselle," said he, " what I am about to do for you 
compromises the reputation and honor of a princess of the 
blood, but the gravity of the occasion demands some sacrifice. 
Swear to me, then, that you will never tell, but to one person 
(for I know there are persons for whom you have no secrets), 
swear that you will never tell any but him, and that no other 
shall ever know in what manner you came to the Regent." 

"Monsieur, I swear it by all I hold most sacred in the 
world — by my mother's memory." 

" That will suffice," said the duke, ringing a bell. A vcdet- 
de-chambre entered. 

" Laf osse," said the duke, " the bay horses and the carriage 
without arms." 

"Monsieur," said Bathilde, "if you would save time, I 
have a hired carriage below." 

" That is still better. I am at your orders, mademoiselle." 

" Am I to go with monsieur ? " asked the servant. 

" No, stay and help Raff6 to put these papers in order. 
There are several which it is quite unnecessary for Dubois to 
see." 

And the duke offered his arm to Bathilde, went down, 
handed her into the carriage, and after telling the coachman 
to stop at the corner of the Rue Saint Honor^ and the Rue 
de Richelieu, placed himself by her side, as thoughtless as 
though the fate from which he was about to save the chevalier 
might not also await himself. 



CHAPTER XLIV. 

THE GL08BT. 

The carriage stopped at its destination; and Richelieu, get- 
ting out and assisting Bathilde to alight, took a key from his 
pocket and opened the door of a house at the comer of the 
Rue de Richelieu. 

"I must ask your pardon, mademoiselle," said the duke, 
offering his arm to Bathilde, "for leading you by badly- 



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864 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

lighted staircases and passages ; but I am anxious not to be 
recognized; should any one meet me here. We have not far 
to go." 

Bathilde had counted about twenty steps when the duke 
stopped, drew a second key from his pocket and opened a 
door, then entered an ante-chamber and lighted a candle at a 
lamp on the staircase. 

^^ Once again I must ask pardon, mademoiselle," said the 
duke, " but you will soon understand why I chose to dispense 
with a servant here." 

It mattered little to Bathilde whether the duke had a ser- 
vant or not ; she entered the ante-chamber without replying, 
and the duke locked the door behind her. 

"Now follow me," said the duke; and he walked before 
the young girl, lighting her with the candle which he held in 
his hand. They crossed a dining-room and drawing-room, 
then entered a bedroom, where the duke stopped. 

" Mademoiselle," said Bichelieu, placing the candle on the 
chimney-piece, " I have your word that you will reveal nothing 
of what you are about to see." 

"I have given you my promise, and I now renew it; I 
should be ungrateful indeed if I were to fail." 

" Well, then, be the third in our secret, which is one of 
love ; we put it under the safeguard of love." 

And the Due de Bichelieu, sliding away a panel in the 
woodwork, discovered an opening in the wall, beyond which 
was the back of a closet, and he knocked softly three times. 
Presently they heard a key turn in the lock, then saw a light 
between the planks, then a low voice asked, " Is it you ? " 
On the duke's replying in the affirmative, three of these 
planks were quietly detached, opening a means of communi- 
cation from one room to the other, and the duke and Bathilde 
found themselves in the presence of Mademoiselle de Valois, who 
uttered a cry on seeing her lover accompanied by a woman. 

"Fear nothing, dear Agla^," said the duke, passing into 
the room where she was, and taking her hand, while Bathilde 
remained motionless in her place, not daring to move a step 
till her presence was explained. 

"But will you tell me?" began Mademoiselle de Valois, 
looking at Bathilde uneasily. 

"Directly. You have heard me speak of the Chevalier 
d'Harmental, have you not ? " 



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THE CLOSET. 855 

" The day before yesterday you told me that by a word he 
might save his own life and compromise you all, but that he 
would never speak this word." 

" Well, he has not spoken, and he is condemned to death, 
and is to be executed to-morrow. This young girl loves him, 
and his pardon depends on the Regent. Do you understand ? " 

" Oh, yes ! " said Mademoiselle de Valois. 

"Come, mademoiselle," said the duke to Bathilde, taking 
her by the hand ; then, turning again to the princess, " She 
did not know how to reach your father, my dear Agla^, and 
came to me just as I had received your letter. I had to thank 
you for the good advice you gave me ; and, as I know your 
heart, I thought I should please you by showing my gratitude, 
in offering you an opportunity to save the life of a man to 
whose silence you probably owe my own." 

" And you were right, duke. You are welcome, mademoi- 
selle. What can I do for you ? " 

" I wish to see the Regent," said Bathilde, " and your High- 
ness can take me to him." 

" Will you wait for me, duke ? " asked Mademoiselle de 
Valois, uneasily. 

« Can you doubt it ? " 

" Then go into the closet, lest any one should surprise you 
here. I will take mademoiselle to my father, and return 
directly." 

" I will wait," said the duke, following the instructions of 
the princess and entering the closet. Mademoiselle de Valois 
exchanged some low words with her lover, locked the closet, 
put the key in her pocket, and holding out her hand to 
Bathilde : 

" Mademoiselle," said she, " all women who love are sisters ; 
Armand and you did well to rely upon me ; come." 

Bathilde kissed the hand she held out, and followed her. 
They passed through all the rooms facing the Palais Royal, 
and then, turning to the left, entered those which looked on 
the Rue de Valois, amongst which was the Regent's bed- 
room. 

" We have arrived," said Mademoiselle de Valois, stopping 
before a door, and turning to Bathilde, who at this news 
trembled and tamed pale ; for all the strength which had 
sustained her for the last three or four hours was ready to 
disappear just as she needed it the most 



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356 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

<< Ohy mon Dieu I I shall never dare to speak/' said 
Bathilde. 

'* Courage, mademoiselle I enter, fall at his feet, God and 
his own heart will do the rest.'' 

At these words, seeing that the young girl still hesitated, 
she opened the door, pushed Bathilde in, and closed it behind 
her. She then ran down with a light step to rejoin Richelieu, 
leaving Bathilde to plead her cause tSte-i-tSte with the Regent. 

At this unforeseen action, Bathilde uttered a low cry, and 
the Regent, who was walking to and fro with his head bent 
down, raised it, and turned towards Bathilde, who, incapable 
of making a step in advance, fell on her knees, drew out her 
letter, and held it towards the Regent. The Regent had bad 
sight ; he did not understand what was going on, and advanced 
towards this woman, who appeared to him in the shade as 
a white and indistinct form ; but soon in that form he recog- 
nized a woman, and, in that woman, a young, beautiful, and 
kneeling girl. 

As to the poor child, in vain she attempted to articulate a 
prayer. Voice and strength failing her together, she would 
have fallen if the Regent had not held her in his arms. 

^^ Mon Dieu! mademoiselle," said the Regent, on whom 
the signs of grief produced their ordinary effect, " what is the 
matter ? What can I do for you ? Come, sit in this arm- 
chair." 

" No, monseigneur, it is at your feet that I should be, for I 
come to ask a boon." 

"And what is it?" 

" See first who I am, monseigneur, and then I may dare to 
speak." 

And again Bathilde held out the letter, on which rested 
her only hope, to the Due d'Orleans. 

The Regent took the letter, and by the light of a candle 
which burnt on the chimney-piece, recognized his own writing, 
and read as follows : 

« Madame : 

" Your husband has died for France and for me. Neither 
France nor I can give you back your husband ; but remem- 
ber that if ever you are in want of anything we are both your 
debtors. 

" Your affectionate, 

" Philippe d'Orlbanb." 



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THE CLOSET. 857 

" I recognize this letter perfectly as being my own," said 
the Regent, " but to the shame of my memory I must confess 
that I do not know to whom it was written." 

"Look at the address, monseigneur," said Bathilde, a 
little reassured by the expression of benevolence on the duke's 
face. 

"Clarice du Eocher," cried the Regent, "yes, indeed, I 
remember now ; I wrote this letter from Spain after the death 
of Albert, who was killed at the battle of Almanza. I wrote 
this letter to his widow. How did it fall into your hands, 
mademoiselle ? " 

"Alas, monseigneur, I am the daughter of Albert and 
Clarice." 

"You, mademoiselle I And what has become of your 
mother ? " 

« She is dead." 

"Long since?" 

" Nearly fourteen years." 

" But happy, doubtless, and wanting nothing." 

" In despair, monseigneur, and wanting everything." 

" But why did she not apply to me ? " 

" Tour Highness was still in Spain." 

" Ah I what do you say ? Continue, mademoiselle, for you 
can not tell how much you interest me. Poor Clarice, poor 
Albert, they loved each other so much, I remember. She 
could not survive him. Do you know that your father saved 
my life at Nerwinden, mademoiselle ?" 

" Yes, monseigneur, I know it, and that gave me courage to 
present myself before you." 

" But you, poor child, poor orphan, what became of you ? " 

"I, monseigneur, was taken by a friend of our family, a 
poor writer cabled Jean Buvat." 

" Jean Buvat ! " cried the Regent. " I know that name ; he 
is the poor copyist who discovered the whole conspiracy and 
who some days ago made his demands in person. A place in 
the library, was it not, some arrears due ? " 

" The same, monseigneur." 

" Mademoiselle," replied the Regent, " it appears that those 
who surround you are destined to save me. I am thus twice 
your debtor. You said you had a boon to ask of me — speak 
boldly, I listen to you." 

*/ Oh, my God ! " murmured Bathilde, " give me strength." 



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358 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

'< Is ity thoDy a very important and difficult thing that you 
desire ? " 

'^ Monseigneur/' said Bathilde^ " it is the life of a man who 
has deserved death." 

" Is it the Chevalier D'Harmental ? " 

" Alas, monseigneur, it is." 

The Regent's brow became pensive, while Bathilde, seeing 
the impression produced by her demand, felt her heart beat 
and her knees tremble. 

" Is he your relation, your ally, your friend? " 

" He is my life, he is my soul, monseigneur ; I love him." 

" But do you know that if I pardon him I must pardon all 
the rest, and that there are some still more guilty than he is ? " 

" His life only, monseigneur, all I ask is that he may live." 

"But if I change his sentence to a perpetual imprison- 
ment you will never see him again. What would become of 
you, then ? " asked the Regent. 

Bathilde was obliged to support herself by the back of a 
chair. 

" I would enter into a convent, where I could pray the rest 
of my life for you, monseigneur, and for him." 

" That can not be," said the Regent 

" Why not, monseigneur ? " 

" Because this very day, this very hour, I have been asked 
for your hand, and have promised it." 

"You have promised my hand, monseigneur; and to 
whom ? " 

" Read," said the Regent, taking an open letter from his 
desk, and presenting it to the young girl. 

" RaouPs writing ! " cried Bathilde j " what does this mean ? " 

" Read," repeated the Regent. 

And in a choking voice, Bathilde read the following letter : 

" MONSBIGNEUK : 

" I have deserved death — I know it, and I do not ask you 
for life. I am ready to die at the day and hour appointed ; 
but it depends on your Highness to make this death sweeter 
to me. I love a young girl whom I should have married if I 
had lived ; grant that she may be my wife before I die. In 
leaving her forever alone and friendless in the world let me at 
least have the consolation of giving her the safeguard of my 
name and fortune. On leaving the church, monseigneur, I 



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THE CLOSET. 869 

will walk to the scaffold. This is my last wish^ my sole desire. 
Do not refuse the prayer of a dying man. 

"Raoul d^Hakmental." 

" Oh, monseignenr," said Bathilde, sobbing, " you see that 
while I thought of him he thought of me. Am I not right 
to love him, when he loves me so much ? " 

" Yes,'' said the Regent, " and I grant his request, it is just ; 
may it, as he says, sweeten his last moments." 

" Monseigneur,'' cried the young girl, " is that all you grant 
him?" 

" You see," said the Regent, " he is just ; he asks nothing 
else." 

" Oh, it is cruel ! it is frightful ! to see him again, and lose 
him directly; his life, monseigneur, his life, I beg; and let 
me never see him again — better so." 

" Mademoiselle," said the Regent, in a tone which admitted 
of no reply, and writing some lines on a paper, which he 
sealed, " here is a letter to Monsieur de Launay, the governor 
of the Bastile ; it contains my instructions with regard to the 
prisoner. My captain of the guards will go with you, and 
see that my instructions are followed." 

" Oh ! his life, monseigneur, his life ; on my knees, and in 
the name of heaven, I implore you." 

The Regent rang the bell ; a valet entered. 

" Call Monsieur the Marquis de Lafare," he said. 

" Oh, monsieur, you are cruel," said Bathilde, rising ; " at 
least permit me then to die with him. We will not be sepa- 
rated, even on the scaffold ; we will be together, even in the 
tomb.' 

'< Monsieur de Lafare, accompany mademoiselle to the 
Bastile," said the Regent. " Here is a letter for Monsieur 
de Launay, read it with him, and see that the orders it con- 
tains are punctually executed." 

Then, without listening to Bathilde's last cry of despair, 
the Dug d'Orleans opened the door of a closet and disap- 
peared. 



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360 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

CHAPTER XLV. 

THB MABBIAGB IK EXTBEMIS. 

Lafabe led the young girl away, almost fainting, and 
placed her in one of the carriages always standing in the 
courtyard of the Palais Royal. During the route Bathilde 
did not speak ; she was cold, dumb, and inanimate as a statue. 
Her eyes were fixed and tearless, but on arriving at the 
fortress she started. She fancied she had seen in the shade, 
in the very place where the Chevalier de Rohan was executed, 
something like a scaffold. A little further a sentinel chal- 
lenged them, the carriage rolled over a drawbridge and drew 
up at the door of the governor's house. A footman out of 
livery opened the door, and Lafare gave Bathilde his arm — 
she could scarcely stand — all her strength had left her when 
hope left her. Lafare and the valet were obliged almost to 
carry her to the first floor. M. de Launay was at supper. 
They took Bathilde into a room to wait, while Lafare went 
directly to the governor. Ten minutes passed, during which 
Bathilde had only one idea — that of the eternal separation 
which awaited her. The poor girl saw but one thing — her 
lover on the scaffold. Lafare re-entered with the governor. 
Bathilde looked at them with a bewildered air. Lafare 
approached her, and offering her his arm: 

" Mademoiselle,'^ said he, "the church is prepared, the 
priest is ready." 

Bathilde, without replying, rose and leant on the arm which 
was offered her. M. de Launay went first, lighted by two 
men bearing torches. 

As Bathilde entered by one of the side doors, she saw enter- 
ing by the other the Chevalier d'Harmental, accompanied by 
Valef and Pompadour. These were his witnesses, as De 
Launay and Lafare were hers. Each door was kept by two of 
the French guard, silent and motionless as statues. 

The two lovers advanced, Bathilde pale and fainting, Raoul 
calm and smiling. On arriving before the altar, the chevalier 
took Bathilde's hand, and both fell on their knees, without 
having spoken a word. 

The altar was lighted only by four wax tapers, which threw 



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THE MARRIAGE IN EXTREMIS. 361 

a funereal light over the chapel^ already dark, and filled with 
gloomy recollections. 

The priest commenced the ceremony ; he was a fine old man 
with white hair, and whose melancholy countenance showed 
the traces of his daily functions. He had been chaplain of 
the Bastile for five-and-twenty years, and had heard many sad 
confessions and seen many lamentable events. He spoke to 
them not, as usual, of their duties as husband and wife, but 
of divine mercy and eternal resurrection. At the benediction 
Bathilde laid her head on Raoul's shoulder ; the priest thought 
she was fainting, and stopped. 

" Finish, my father," murmured Bathilde. 

The priest pronounced the sacramental words, to which 
both replied by a "yes," which seemed to unite the whole 
strength of their souls. The ceremony finished, D^Harmental 
asked M. de Launay if he might spend his few remaining 
hours with his wife. Monsieur de Launay replied that there 
was no objection. Eaoul embraced Pompadour and Valef, 
thanked them for having served as witnesses at his marriage, 
pressed Lafare's hand, thanked Monsieur de Launay for his 
kindness to him during his imprisonment, and throwing his 
arm round Bathilde, led her away by the door through which 
he had entered. When they reached D'Harmental's room, 
Bathilde could no longer contain her tears, a despairing cry 
escaped her lips, and she fell weeping on a chair, where 
doubtless D'Harmental had often sat, during the three weeks 
of his captivity, and thought of her. Itaoul threw himself at 
her feet, and tried to console her, but was himself so much 
moved by her grief that his own tears mingled with hers. 
This heart of iron melted in its turn, and Bathilde felt at 
once on her lips the tears and kisses of her lover. They had 
been about half an hour together when they heard steps 
approaching the door and a key turning in the lock. Bathilde 
stai^ted, and pressed D'Harmental convulsively against her 
heart. Eaoul understood the dreadful fear which crossed her 
mind, and reassured her. It could not be what she dreaded, 
since the execution was fixed for eight o'clock in the morning 
and eleven had only just struck. 

It was Monsieur de Launay who appeared. 

" Monsieur le Chevalier," said he, " have the kindness to 
follow me." 

<' Alone ? " asked D'Harmental, clasping Bathilde in his arms. 



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862 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 

" No, with madame/' replied the governor. 

" Oh ! together, Raoul, together ! " cried Bathilde, " where 
they like, so that we are together. We are ready, monsieur, 
we are ready." 

Eaoul kissed Bathilde s^ain ; then recalling all his pride he 
followed M. de Launay, with a face which showed no trace 
of the terrible emotion he had experienced. They passed 
through some ill-lighted corridors, descended a spiral staii'case 
and found themselves at the door of a tower. This door 
opened out to a yard, surrounded by high walls, which served 
as a promenade to those prisoners who were not kept secret. 
In this courtyard was standing a carriage with two horses, on 
one of which was a postilion, and they saw, shining in the 
darkness, the cuirasses of a dozen musketeers. A ray of 
hope crossed the minds of the two lovers. Bathilde had asked 
the Eegent to change Eaoul's death into a perpetual imprison- 
ment. Perhaps the Regent had granted him this favor. The 
carriage, ready, doubtless, to conduct him to some state prison, 
the musketeers destined to escort them, all gave to the sup- 
position an air of reality. They raised their eyes to heaven 
to thank God for this unexpected happiness. Meanwhile 
M. de Launay had signed to the carriage to approach; the 
postilion had obeyed, the door was opened, and the governor 
— with his head uncovered — held his hand to Bathilde to 
assist her into the carriage. 

She hesitated an instant, turning uneasily to see that they 
did not take Raoul away by the other side ; but seeing that 
he was ready to follow her she got in without resistance. An 
instant afterwards Raoul was sitting by her; the door was 
closed and both carriage and escort passed through the gate, 
over the drawbridge, and they found themselves outside of 
the Bastile. 

They threw themselves into each other^s arms ; there was 
no longer any doubt; the Regent granted D'Harmental his 
life, and what was more, consented not to separate him from 
Bathilde. 

This was what Bathilde and I^Harmental had never dared 
to hope ; this life of seclusion — a punishment to many — 
would be to them a paradise of love — they would be together ; 
and what else had they desired for their future, even when 
they were masters of their own fate ? A single sad idea 



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THE MARRIAGE IN EXTREMIS. 363 

crossed their minds, and both, with the sympathy of hearts 
who love, pronounced the name of Buvat. 

At this moment the carriage stopped ; at such a time every- 
thing was, for the lovers, a subject of fear. They again 
trembled lest they should have given way too much to hope. 
The door opened — it was the postilion. 

" What do you want ? '' asked IVHarmental. 

" I want to know where I am to take you." 

" Where you are to take me I Have you no orders ? " 

"My orders were to take you to the Bois de Vincennes, 
between the Chateau and Nogent-sur-Marne, and here we are." 

" And where is the escort ? " asked D'Harmental. 

" Oh, the escort left us at the barrier I " 

" Merciful God ! " cried D'Harmental, while Bathilde — 
panting with hope — joined her hands in silence, " is it 
possible ? " 

And the chevalier jumped out of the carriage, looked round 
him anxiously, then clasping Bathilde in his arms they 
uttered together a cry of joy and thankfulness. 

They were free as the air they breathed, but the Regent had 
ordered that they should be taken to the very place where 
D'Harmental had carried off Bourguignon, mistaking him for 
himself. 

This was the only revenge taken by Philippe le D^bonnaire. 

Four years later Buvat — reinstated in his place, and with 
his arrears paid — had the pleasure of placing a pen in the 
hand of a fine boy of three years — the son of Raoul and 
Bathilde. 

The two first names written by the child were Albert du 
Rocher and Clarice Gray. The third was that of Philippe 
d'Orleans, Regent of France. 



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364 THE CHEVALIER D'HARMENTAL. 



POSTSCRIPT. 

Some readers may possibly have taken sufficient interest in 
those who have played a secondary part in our history to wish 
to know what became of them after the events which lost the 
conspiracy and saved the Regent. We will try to satisfy them 
in a few words. 

The Due and Duchesse du Maine^ whose plotting they 
wished to stop for the future, were arrested — the duke at 
Sceaux and the duchess in her house in the Rue Saint 
Honor^. The duke was confined in the Chateau of Doullens, 
and the duchess was taken to that of Dijon, and afterwards to 
the citadel of Chalons. Both left at the end of a few months, 
disarming the Regent, one by an absolute denial, the other by 
a full confession. 

Richelieu was arrested, as Mademoiselle de Yalois had 
warned him on the day after that on which he had procured 
Bathilde's interview with the Regent ; but his captivity was 
merely a new triumph for him. When it was learned that 
the handsome prisoner had obtained permission to walk on the 
terrace of the Bastile, the Rue Saint-Antoine was filled with 
most elegant carriages, and became, in twenty-four hours, the 
fashionable promenade. The Regent — who declared that he 
had proofs enough of the treason of M. de Richelieu to cost 
him four heads if he had them — would not risk his popu- 
larity with the fair sex by keeping him long in prison. Riche- 
lieu, again at liberty, after a captivity of three months, was 
more brilliant and more sought after than ever; but the 
famous closet had been walled up and Mademoiselle de Valois 
became Duchesse de Modena. 

The Abb^ Brigand, arrested at Orleans, was kept for some 
time in prison, to the great despair of Madame Denis and her 
children ; but, one fine morning, as they were sitting down to 
breakfast he entered, as calm as ever. They asked him a 
number of questions, but — with his habitual prudence — he 
referred them to his answers at his trial, saying that the affair 
had already given him so much trouble that they would 
greatly oblige him by never speaking of it. As he was quite 
an autocrat in Madame Denis' establishment, his desire was 
religiously respected, and from that day forth the affair was 
as completely forgotten in the Rue du Temps-Perdu as if it 



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POSTSCRIPT. 866 

had never arisen. Not long afterwards Pompadour, Valef, 
Laval, and Malezieux went out of prison in their turn, and 
began again to pay their court to Madame du Maine, as if 
nothing had happened. The Cardinal de Polignac was not 
even arrested ; he was simply exiled to his Abbey d'Anchin. 
These proofs of clemency seemed so out of all reason to 
Dubois that he came to the Eegent in a terrible huff. The 
Regent, however, merely hummed the burden of a song which 
Saint-Simon had made on him : 

" For I am Philippe le D6bonnaire, 
Philippe le D6bonnaire." 

Dubois flew into such a rage at this that the Eegent was 
obliged to elevate him into his Eminence the Cardinal in order 
to keep the peace. 



THE END. 



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HyiXMP 




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